British designer Daniel Lee has only been at the creative helm of Bottega Veneta for just over a year, and now, he is fast becoming one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry; a recognition he cemented at Britain’s Fashion Awards 2019 with a record of four wins which includes ‘Designer of the Year’ and ‘Brand of the Year’. The 54-year old Italian house has skyrocketed from conservative to cult and attracting a legion of loyal followers attributed to Lee’s luxurious yet progressive aesthetics.
For his sophomore runway show, guests were brought to Palazzo del Senato where Lee had erected a giant glass conservatory inside of the 17th century architecture. Inside, gold-edged glass floors were laid over the brand’s iconic intrecciato weave, and show attendees took seats on comfy cloud-like leather cushions. “Spring/Summer ‘20 evolves the codes we are building at Bottega Veneta. Our focus is on process and clarity, immediate and direct,” said Lee according to the show notes. Setting the tone for the entire collection was the opening look for the show– a sporty asymmetrical black knitted dress paired with a larger-than-life leather crossbody bag and a pair of white intrecciato mules.
The looks that followed suit showcased an expansive range of intricately crafted, beautifully balanced and versatile pieces. There were leather hooded anoraks, oversized utilitarian coats, disco sequined party dresses and intricate futuristic knitwear. Tones of black, gold, brown, orange and tapioca complements the attitude of each ensemble. However, a noteworthy look for the collection comes in the shape of the halter neck silk scarf tops with pineapple and Matisse-inspired monkey motifs that injected a touch of lightness and humour to the tightly edited show. It is a spring collection after all.
Spotted on the front row of the show were esteemed guests sporting the brand’s instantly recognizable pieces; either Lee’s covetable square-toed heels or the leather pouch bags— or both. Diehard fans of the brands will be elated to know that this season’s bags come in a range of new shapes and silhouettes in vibrant hues. From wooden top-handle bags, leather envelope bags to shoulder bags with chunky chain link straps elevated the minimalistic looks that were sent down the runway.
Lee also brought forward his sci-fi-inspired aesthetics for his Spring/Summer ’20. While last season saw heavy motocross-inspired boots fit for Neo from The Matrix, this season came in the shape of futuristic sunglasses (think Kurt Cobain’s clout glasses meets Ultraman).Elsewhere, jewellery plays an essential role for this collection as models were seen wearing Mr. T-inspired gold and silver chains.
Overall, Lee continues to solidify his vision for the Italian house with yet another bold and convincing collection. “I want to make a statement. I don’t see the point in making fashion that does not say something. Either you love it or you hate it but that’s human nature,” said Lee during an interview backstage after the show. We are already looking forward to the next season.