Imagine a post-apocalyptic scenario where one of the world’s most refined ateliers is abandoned and taken over by the slow creep of nature. Over time, the luxury fabrics would lose their luster as eager vines replace stitches, metallic elements on the shop shelves rust, and rain distresses and warps rich leathers. It was with this same sense of luxe-meets-organic decay that Bottega Veneta’s Pre-Fall 2014 collection was born. The opening looks show chic black and white coat-dresses taken over by small patches of contrasting fabric. Leather shapes flash their patterns against opaque fabrics, and metallic cutouts trickle down the sides of sheath dresses. Throughout the collection, small organic elements begin to take hold, but Bottega Veneta’s minimalist silhouette and strict tailoring keep them from gaining control until the very end.
Amid the whipstitched leather jackets in tangerine and bubble gum pink, the suede coats, and the printed pants, one gets the sense that it’s all heading toward an inevitable break with tradition. The final three looks are evidence to that, with wide, burned-out metallic swaths washing down the front of stunning gowns, like the promised rust of decay. Beauty fades, but Bottega Veneta’s ambition to incorporate the steadfast march of nature against a technically perfect collection is what keeps the brand from fading from relevance.
Photos: Courtesy of Bottega Veneta