WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
Find out what the brand’s new shoe hit for Spring-Summer 2021 will be and all the details behind its secret London show.
Despite the trials and tribulations of the year, Bottega Veneta’s momentum hasn’t slowed down. Luxury shoppers are still scouring the internet to acquire one of the many new iterations of the famous Lug boot and have been hungry for more.
But the brand has been keeping quiet for the most part of 2020, skipping Milan Fashion Week and re-releasing its greatest hits over new product – until now that is.
This week, Daniel Lee unveiled the brand’s spring 2021 collection, Salon 01 London, along with a renewed vision, shaped by the experience of lockdown.
When it came to the shoes this meant less familiar, Instagram-famous shapes, like square-toe mules or strappy sandals. They were replaced by a series of clunky platform mules in baby blue, lime or forest green that matched knitted twinsets in the same hues – and are most likely to be the next big shoe hit of summer 2021.
There was also a new iteration of the lace-up sandals in a bright green shade – just like the brand’s famous packaging – a more rounded toe and pebbled sole for extra comfort; as well as a unisex slip-on sneaker featuring patchworks of contrasting materials and colours.
Pastel bags and platform shoes, in a all new crochet finish. Backstage images courtesy of Bottega Veneta.
The idea for Lee was to create something cozy and comfortable to suit our current lifestyles – some of the collection’s textures were inspired by his couch after all. But he wanted for the pieces to also be able to transition into a new more optimistic world where dancing, socializing and embracing is no longer forbidden.
He channeled those sentiments through his film presentation – a recording of a live show that took place “behind closed doors” in October at the Sadler’s Wells theatre in London. At the time a small and very socially distanced group of journalists, musicians and artists – including Kanye & North West, Stromzy and Rosie Huntington Whiteley – attended, sitting on chairs scattered across the green-tinged stage of the famous theatre.
There was a serene, low-key mood – no phones, backstage rushes or the usual air kissing – and in the background, instead of the usual loud music, there was a custom soundtrack created by Lee and Swedish musician Neneh Cherry. The soundtrack featured a soothing melody and Cherry’s voice, narrating some of her and Lee’s thoughts on the continued importance and intimacy of getting dressed.
“It’s good to be safe but you know, it’s really important to be bold. Something that you’re putting on your body is so intimate and personal. It’s like armour that gives you freedom and lightness,” mused Cherry.
There’s clearly a new mood at Bottega: Like everyone else navigating the pandemic, Lee, whose sister is a frontline healthcare worker, had time to think and re-evaluate. If spring 2021 is any indication, he seems to be going into a more laid-back direction, with handwork and creative collaboration being an even bigger focus. What remains constant is his ability to tap into the zeitgeist and women’s current needs: Come next spring, his feel-good, colourful mules and cozy yet put together crochet knits will sure answer many sartorial dilemmas.
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