Matthieu Blazy presented this pre-spring collection virtually back in June. He was just a few months off his Bottega Veneta debut—the debut of the year, we can say from this vantage point—and he was riding the high of positive reviews, but had not yet had the satisfaction of seeing his first season in the stores.
“After the show, we sat as a team and we talked,” he explained. “We wondered, what do we want to wear ourselves? How can we make clothes that are cool and at the same time the ultimate luxury? It’s no big concept,” he continued. “It was really the idea of making beautiful clothes that we want to wear. At the end it’s about looking cool and looking beautiful.”
That resonates with the conversations Blazy’s two runway shows have generated. Again and again, among editor and buyer acquaintances, the refrain has been “that is exactly how I want to look.” Blazy has managed the elusive trick of producing desire, not by over-designing or over-complicating, as often happens in high fashion, but by believing in simplicity.
Of course, Bottega Veneta’s is a deceptive simplicity. Not unlike Kate Moss’s printed flannel on the spring 2023 runway, the plaid of a topcoat here is actually printed on nappa leather in an eight-step process. Meanwhile, the jeans that Emma Balfour wears in the opening look are leather intreccio—woven like the label’s bags. The collection also includes jean-jeans, as in denim, cut with the swooshy, higher-in-the-back hem that Blazy used for the statement-making trousers of his debut. They’re bound to be a hit, not least of all because of their comparably easy price point.
Silhouette is one of Blazy’s key preoccupations. On that June Zoom he was keen to point out the jacket shoulder proportions of a button-down in pinstriped cool wool, and the mid-century shape of a skirt structured to blossom at the hips. His interest in unexpected forms extends to handbags. The helmet-shaped satchel that appears in slide 5 is inspired by the headgear of Milan’s scooter commuters and is another fun result of the team’s elevation of the everyday. The Foulard bag (in slide 41) is “like wearing a bandana on your shoulder,” Blazy laughed.
“It was quite a playful exercise,” he said of the work the team did this season. “It felt quite free.” At the same time, Blazy is slowly, steadily crafting his Bottega Veneta language. The brass finish hardware of the Sardine bag has been incorporated as a jewelry detail on a little black dress, and the metal studs that gave movement to Fortuny pleat skirts for fall appear as trim on a bias silk cocktail dress.