When you put the world in a small room, things can go either very right or very wrong. It’s daunting to amplify differences, but Matthieu Blazy did not hesitate to do so; he chose instead to embrace extremes in his sophomore show for Bottega Veneta. The Spring Summer 2023 collection dresses everyday characters of polar personalities in discrete yet purposeful displays of luxury, each on the go to run their errands in a serotonin-inducing landscape conceived by 82-year-old Italian designer and architect Gaetano Pesce.
The deliberate choice to take luxury into the subconscious is not only telling of Blazy’s understanding of the brand, but also how much he loves craftsmanship; good craftsmanship is meant to be invisible, and his has been so far, and resolutely at the service of design.
While he has been mentored by very respectable names, there’s something about his obsession with the pedestrian and naturally occurring contrasts that make this technically robust collection feel more emotional than expected.
This is his quiet power at work — it’s the play-on-sight that catches intimate encounters by surprise, but keeps the secret of a 12-time printed nubuck leather flannel private to the wearer when observed from afar. Our all-knowing digital eye needs to feast on this kind of luxury today, and in this 12-minute runway show, Blazy left no crumbs — we got nothing but that.
Apart from the rare appearance by Kate Moss, the Futurist movement from his first collection seems to be less prominent, the revelations that come from unpacking the facades of everyday basics a more memorable catch. The 400 unique chairs that were mirrored by the tomato-red, limoncello and aquamarine on frilled dresses were a close competitor, but the garments that looked familiar and dear to us were the ones that had the last say.
See here for the top 10 best looks of the Bottega Veneta Spring Summer 2023 show.
Look 2: A timeless, no-frills, everyday denim ensemble with a roomy, brown Intrecciato tote but a tad bit off-beat with the perfectly spherical round-toe dress shoes adding a touch of wonder to what is a casual feel.
Look 5: Surprise, surprise, one of the already iconic nubuck flannels on the legendary Kate Moss was printed up to 12 times to achieve the right tones and then shaved down to feather-light density for easy-going comfort.
Look 12: There are hints of the gabardine trench we are familiar with but it’s been layered with a mahogany leather coat. This double-decker is weathered for the years to come.
Look 20: Layering this buttery, emerald green suit under a dark grey trench doesn’t seem to overshadow much of the ensemble’s masterful tailoring. It brings to mind The Matrix without the brooding darkness.
Look 32: A mustard print in a singlet-pant ensemble that sings with texture and makes the case for more men with handbags. An easy smart-casual moment with the superstar white singlet hidden beneath.
Look 39: While the frills were aplenty on the Chandelier dresses for the women, this suit simulates that same effect with the Futurist turquoise streaks on the hems of the pant.
Look 51: The open funnel neck of this Volcano silhouette subverts traditional tailoring in a unisex, contemporary way. The subtle tone difference in the sand colours and the speckled surface gives the illusion of proper proportions too.
Look 57: An Intrecciato sling bag with these delectable snake-skin patterned boots serves “perverse banality” without a care in the world. Free to roam and to be.
Look 65: Firstly, these woven boots but also, the white tank again that makes the coloured twisted mouline of the singlet worn above a brighter statement maker against the swirling colours of the floor.
Look 69: The blue-grey leather suit’s long lapel is a stylish addition to the structured look. But that knot where the button is makes me wonder how the blazer will look “buttoned up”. Or “tied up”?