Sep 6 2021
We were finally able to see the latest Bottega Veneta collection, presented last April to a group of friends of the designer at Berlin’s most famous nightclub, Berghain.
Was it worth waiting four months? More or less, considering the collection’s dark sophistication, artistic flamboyance, and daring iconoclasm.
Under the name Salon 02, the fall-winter 2021 collection was photographed by Tyrone Lebon, an exceptional honor, as Berghain, an obscure temple of industrial techno music, has a famous house policy of allowing only the photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans , take photos of your guests. Salon 1 was held in London last fall. Room 03 will be held this fall in Detroit.
Bottega Veneta designer Daniel Lee named the collection in reference to an earlier era in fashion when couturiers organized ballroom shows in front of a small group of guests. Although the Berlin venue is surely light years away from the intimate Paris parades of 1850.
Under Lee’s leadership, BV enjoyed a remarkable resurgence, the fruit of his courageous explosion and exaggeration of the brand’s iconic idea: intreccio leather.
Lee reworked that idea on this collection: from sci-fi coats and huge bags with metallic finishes worthy of one of Jeff Koons’ balloon dogs, to dramatic minidresses with gigantic hip fringes paired with thigh-high boots.
Showcasing a drapery worthy of haute couture, Lee wrapped the girls in divine tops and dresses in shades of caramel and chocolate that wrapped twice around the neck and ended in a tassel shape. We also saw several handbags finished with leather tassels.
The British designer then unveiled a collection of jumpsuits adorned with thousands of imperial Roman purple marabou feathers and faux foxtail Yeti coats. The lips were burgundy.
Considering the reputation of Berghain’s reserved lounges (which they say makes Ramrod in Lower Manhattan look like a tea party), men’s clothing seemed almost primitive, even spiritual. From felt coats with majestic cuts or Stasi spy coats, to Austrian men’s redingotes, which Helmut Lang would probably recognize instantly.
The boys also got the Jeff Koons twist with turquoise bubble tote bags and matching corduroy pants, all in the same hue as the ribbed rug that covered the often wet and dirty Berghain floor at the old power station.
In April, most people voluntarily found it eccentric to post pictures of Daniel’s guests at Berghain, but not of the clothes. They probably still think the same thing, considering how shocking and powerful the collection turned out to be.
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