On Friday afternoon, Bottega Veneta’s latest collection was finally unveiled to the public. In April it was shown by the fashion house in closed company as part of a private show in Berlin’s Berghain.
Was the four-month waiting period worth it? In view of the dark sophistication, artistic extravagance and brilliant iconoclasm of the collection, this question must be answered in the affirmative.
The autumn / winter collection 2021 with the title “Salon 02” was photographed by Tyrone Lebon. A rare honor, as the Berghain notoriously only lets photographer Wolfgang Tillmans into the Berlin techno club to take pictures of its party guests. The “Salon 01” collection was shown in London last fall and the upcoming salon collection will be unveiled in Detroit in the fall of 2021.
Bottega Veneta designer Daniel Lee chose the name of the collection in reference to a time when couturiers only organized private shows for small groups of guests. Even if the legendary techno club is undoubtedly miles away from the fashion salons organized in Paris in 1850.
Under creative director Daniel Lee, Bottega Veneta is enjoying a remarkable revival – based on its bold explosion and exaggeration of the brand’s basic idea – hand-woven intreccio leather.
Lee brought this idea to his most recent collection – from futuristic coats and giant metallic tote bags that would do Jeff Koons Balloon Dog credit, to dramatic mini cocktail dresses with oversized hips with mop fringes, to knee-high boots.
With couture-worthy draperies, Lee wrapped models in exquisite caramel and chocolate-colored tops and dresses that are doubled around the neck and end with a tassel. Numerous clutches were covered with leather tassels.
Then the British designer really got going and showed overalls with thousands of purple marabou feathers and several cool yeti coats with exotic fox tails. Many models wore burgundy lipstick.
Given the decadent reputation of the parties organized in Berghain’s back rooms – which make the Ramrod in Lower Manhattan look like a garden party – Lee’s menswear seemed very demure, if not spiritual. From the majestically cut chess piece coats or spy coats to the very balanced and Austrian-looking frock coats that Helmut Lang would probably have recognized straight away.
For men, there were even Jeff Koons-like bubble bags in turquoise and matching corduroy trousers and jackets – in the same color as the carpeting in Berghain.
In April, many believed that posting pictures of Daniel’s guests in Berghain was a deliberate eccentricity, but not the clothes on display. You probably still think so, given how bold and powerful the collection actually is.
You should be right.
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