For Bottega Veneta designer Matthieu Blazy’s collection of travel stories was exciting, immersive, and awe-inspiring.
Within a span of less than twenty-four months, Matthieu Blazy has breathed new life into Bottega Veneta by infusing it with an exceptionally distinctive design vision characterized by ingenuity, narrative, meticulous craftsmanship, and impressive artistry.
The spring exhibition proved to be captivating, evocative, and truly awe-inspiring, possessing an intensity that could perhaps only be likened to the fashion presentations of Prada in Milan.
Upon entering the exhibition area, one could immediately sense an undeniable atmosphere.
The floor was adorned with bright blue ceramic tiles, evoking the imagery of a fish market or a pristine swimming pool. Etched upon this seafaring backdrop was an artistically simplistic world map, accompanied by a diverse collection of marine creatures, avian species, and even a faithful canine companion belonging to the designer.
In the wake of a trilogy of collections deeply rooted in Italy
Blazy embarked on an artistic journey that spanned the globe, spurred by an evocative phrase found within the pages of one of his beloved literary works, “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac: “Are you venturing towards a destination? Or are you simply embracing the act of exploration?”
“That line is very beautiful because it opens a world of possibilities. And maybe the collection is the answer to that question.”Matthieu Blazy
Those who have had the opportunity to visit an airport in the aftermath of the global pandemic are well aware of the profound yearning for travel, whether it be driven by the desire to immerse oneself in diverse cultures or to explore a variety of landscapes, flora, and fauna.
Blazy’s cultural references were somewhat ambiguous, primarily due to their occurrence in multiple regions and countries. For instance, he ingeniously expanded the boundaries of Bottega’s renowned Intrecciata technique by commissioning artisans to utilize leather strips dyed and treated to meticulously emulate the appearance and texture of banana leaves. These leaves hold significant cultural significance in various parts of Asia, South America, and Southeast Asia.
He strongly desired to circumvent any accusations of cultural appropriation by refraining from being excessively specific. Nevertheless, he expressed his discontentment with the current limitations on referencing various cultures, asserting that the world thrives on diverse cultural expressions. He firmly believes that culture, arts, and crafts are collective assets that transcend borders.
Blazy also aimed to celebrate the marvels of nature. Within the preview, he deliberately inverted various snapshots of runway styles, showcasing how his fringed leather tops and cocoon coats bear a resemblance to cacti or vibrant blossoms.
Approximately two-thirds into the presentation, an array of delicate fringe embellishments cascaded on voluminous skirts and corseted dresses, evoking imagery reminiscent of captivating avian creatures. A selection of sandals appeared to be intricately woven from supple vines, embracing the foot with graceful allure.
In spite of any prior knowledge regarding the narrative of the collection, one could readily discern the various creatures and characters presented: the individual marooned on an island, clad in a modest garment or a dark swimsuit; the seafarer donning trousers fastened by buttons along with a sizable backpack; the corporate commuter adorned in striped knitwear, and the adventurous wanderers cloaked in finely crafted blanket attire.
Blazy possesses a methodology for embellishment that is entirely rooted in savoir-faire, devoid of any razzmatazz. Such a style aligns impeccably with the essence of Bottega Veneta’s aesthetic, as observed in their exquisite Paris boutique. For more information, you may refer to the following article: Bottega Veneta – Paris Boutique: A Collaboration with Blazy Concept.
However, the vintage-inspired sweaters and spacious coats, intricately crafted from leather to simulate tweed, herringbone, or fluffy fur, occasionally conveyed an excessive and cumbersome appearance for a collection meant for the spring season. Blavy incorporated generously proportioned peacoats and overcoats for gentlemen, as well as experiented with large-scale, fireworks-inspired bursts of raffia on the mesh dresses that concluded the fashion show.
However, sartorial enjoyment eclipses practicality as this standout production provides an array of fashion delights.