Editor's Pick, Style

Take a peek into Bottega Veneta’s handcrafted world with new film

Take a peek into Bottega Veneta’s handcrafted world with new film

What goes on behind closed doors? When you loom that question on the luxury fashion industry, there is no denying that the doors behind its most influential Houses are widely known to have been boarded shut. Like all forms of commodities, the term luxury is rooted in a fascination with three heralding principles — exquisiteness, expensiveness and exclusivity — because only with them can one possess the ability to create desire. Even so, it refers to not just any form of desire but the ardour to want something and sometimes, even someone. After all, the meaning behind luxury is only significant when viewed as something exclusive or rare. Indeed, one might even notice an invisible barrier that separates fashion from its audience, no matter how accessible or approachable it may establish itself as. Some have even argued that these deterrents make fashion all the more elusive and captivating — perhaps the less you know, the more you would want in on it.

Take a Look Into Bottega Veneta's Handcrafted World with New FilmThat might no longer be the case. Just look at social media — where a trend of users cutting up and destroying luxury fashion goods is on an upward trajectory. The content has the sole purpose of justifying the quality of a product with the price tag that comes with it and typically involves the deconstruction of leather products in a last-ditch effort to inspect its craftsmanship. With views racking up in the millions, it becomes clear that there might be a recourse to regard quality as a luxury rather than an exclusive inner circle.

Every fashion House has its own approach on how they want people to perceive their brand. Most would adopt the time-honoured inner circle formula, restricting access to protect a sacred secret. Some like Bottega Veneta, regard it as a name to be revered, similar to the practice one would adopt as they approach art. During Matthieu Blazy’s contemporary tenure at the Italian leather-making House, the creative director has defined luxury as “something you feel rather than see.” The fashion press has hailed Blazy’s first collection for Bottega Veneta a success, with much credit given to his insistence on its quiet luxury fundamentals. The term of “quiet luxury” — whereby fashion is most obtrusive when it is most understated — has been closely associated with the House since its popularity bloomed in the 2010s. Unlike his predecessor, an emphasis on craft as its cross-terrain aesthetic has repeatedly occurred.

How can one create luxury if not in an exclusive manner? Blazy’s response would see the creation of Bottega Veneta’s latest short film — on a rare occasion for luxury fashion — set on the simple premise of an inviting tour of his atelier. Directed by Massimiliano Bomba, Craft in Motion was shot on location at Bottega Veneta’s atelier in Montebello Vicentino, Northern Italy and began with a narration from senior craftsman Ruggero Negretto. In it, work-in-progress shots of the new House inclusions — the Cabat, Kalimero, Sardine and other bags — sets the stage as its protagonist. For once, the process behind the most vital bags of the house is now public knowledge — a move some might deter in fear of losing its exclusiveness. “It is much more personal and emotive for the person wearing the clothing than for those looking at them. I want the wearer to be empowered without the clothing being loud. It is style over fashion in its timelessness,” shares Blazy.

In the constant drive to hold onto a unique identity and to keep an open mind to new ideas, a quiet brand like Bottega Veneta may have just discovered that the best way to define a distinct characteristic for themselves is to look at what they already do best — quality products made by expert craftsman that is eternally timeless. “Craft is not a trend. Neither is it something that has to be improved,” adjourns Blazy. “It is a timeless technology. The irregularities of handwork make each Bottega Veneta design unique. This, for me, is true luxury.”

What this definition includes might only become explicit in years to come. For now, being approachable is at the heart of a Bottega Veneta product, surpassing the forever notion of luxury as exclusive.