Matthieu Blazy, the man that you are.
The name Bottega Veneta has started to take on new meaning under the guidance of Matthieu Blazy. It seems to denote something different than its previous eras, something that is clearly defined with a distinct and unshakable point of view. Bottega Veneta. It sounds to me like exquisite, intensive, eye-popping craftsmanship; like the coolest woman in the room who just happens to be wearing something super simple but discretely well-made (Julianne Moore, I’m thinking about you); like money and class and intelligence. On the way to the show, I said to my friend, “You don’t call her a ‘Bottega girlie,’ like you do with other brands. She’s a Bottega woman.” It’s true. If you want to know what Blazy’s Bottega woman looks like for Spring/Summer 2024, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Presumably, she’s jetting off somewhere fabulous. However, unlike other travel-inspired collections in the fashion universe, Bottega wasn’t thinking about the act of travel, but rather the enrichment of it. The time between leaving for somewhere and arriving there. The self-exploration. The treasuring of trinkets collected along the way. The chance to renew yourself in nature. Blazy achieved a connection between the conceptual and emotional qualities of his work with nods to travel and a life well-lived. There were leather newspapers bearing headlines from around the globe that were really ‘Foulard’ bags. Meanwhile, clothes were hastily stuffed into the mouth of giant handbags as if our model were running late for the train. Many travel archetypes were present: the commuter found in sharply tailored suits or the castaway in “homespun, natural and primal” fabrics.
Textures exploded from eclectically cut and richly tactile fabrics, with elements inspired by “cactus and nautilus shell(s)" and "of flowers, fireworks and rock formations,” according to show notes. When it wasn’t surprising leathers or obvious ones (as in the case of some alarmingly gorgeous red leather pieces), color came from tiny expressions in woven fabrics. Finishes were fringed, twisted, and appointed with pop-poms. Against the swimming pool blue tiled floor that depicted travel elements, the collection popped.
Bags were such an exciting proposition. They were enormous and suited for jetsetting. I especially loved the oversized intrecciato ‘Sardine’ handled bags. How such large bags didn’t overwhelm the clothes is a testament to how confident the total looks were. So well-calibrated.
“These are clothes without codes,” Matthieu Blazy concluded. I know what he means, but I see the codes he has established so clearly. He is the real forerunner of quiet luxury, and he is proving with each collection that quiet luxury doesn’t mean bland. I ask you: Who else is doing it like Bottega, right now? There are fewer and fewer designers who really express a clear vision without the engine of business showing quite as much as it does at other houses. Brava to Bottega for feeling fresh every season.
These are clothes without CODES.