Bottega Veneta shows SS21 collection salon-style in London

Bottega Veneta this week showed its Spring Summer 2021 collection in London’s Sadler’s Wells, an intimate performance art venue best known for its spectacular contemporary dance calendar. Like so many other theatres, it had to close its doors during lockdown.

Creative Director Daniel Lee isn’t a fan of the digital stage, instead preferring live, intimate settings to show the prowess of Bottega Veneta’s craftsmanship. This suits both designer and brand, who may be less inclined to storytelling extravaganzas and the showmanship of, say, a John Galliano, Alexander McQueen or Thom Browne. Bottega is less haute spectacle than it is down to earth: at eye and product level.

Product is where Bottega excels, its plump, luscious leather bags and shoes have been a hit since Lee’s debut in 2019. The Italian house cancelled its Milan fashion week presentation in September this year, opting instead to show on its own terms and schedule. That day was this week.

Pre-show, Lee sent sent out large canvas totes in the brand’s distinctive shade of green to select editors and buyers, with three books and a vinyl record. The latter would be the soundtrack narrated by singer Neneh Cherry, who’s delicious voice talks about clothes and beauty in a way that feels relevant and more authentic than marketed story content. Finding the right tone of voice during this never-ending-pandemic has kept many brand officers awake at night.

Accessories brand at heart

Bottega Veneta is an accessories brand at heart where the clothes are pared down and logoless, perhaps to not upstage the brand’s core categories. But Lee’s fashion has its own voice too, with sumptuous knits and matching ensembles detailed with duvet-stitches, padded leather and the House’s intricate weaving, that have his audiences cooing.

The analog tote with books may provide context to this season’s story, but the collection will speak for itself.

Video and still via Bottega Veneta

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