At Bottega Veneta, certain details still stick to as things once were in fashion. Before the ongoing age of internet spectacle and celebrity designers, there was a time when a rising talent who took over the creative reins of a fashion house could experiment and build their vision step by step, and this purely sartorial work would define the future of the brand.
Daniel Lee, who was a bit of a mystery when he became the house's new creative director after working behind-the-scenes for brands like Maison Margiela, Balenciaga, and Celine, has had big shoes to fill. Not only has he had to usher in a new age post-Tomas Maier, the creative director who defined the brand's style for 17 years, but he also has the privilege of being able to express through his creations without necessarily having to please the current dynamics of frenzy. A Bottega show isn't about the supermodels, Insta-culture gimmicks, or surprise performances, but Lee's creations have still managed to quietly spread across the internet as fashion insiders and celebrities like Rihanna take notice.
With all eyes on Lee, his vision is clear and coherent, using simple lines, almost always approachable proportions, and neutral tones such as black and beige with the occasional brighter contrasts of blue, orange and green. That description almost sounds basic or minimalist, but as has been evident the past two seasons, this is not the case. Lee infuses each piece with abundant doses of allure, an ingredient that's rare to find but essential in the construction of a must-have piece.
The accessories, which have always been the forte of the brand, hint at the modern (and incredibly chic) grit behind them. Lee knows well how to reinterpret the iconic Intrecciato, with the right balance between innovation and tradition. And the audience, many of whom likely have integrated a New Bottega bag into their personal wardrobes, applauds with conviction every season.