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The Verdict on the New, New Bottega

6th March 2022

WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI

Everything you need to know about new creative director Mathieu Blazy’s debut – including the shoes.  

bottega veneta aw22 shoes
Bottega Veneta shoes

Images courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

Bottega Veneta wrote a new chapter this fashion month, as incoming creative director Mathieu Blazy made his much-anticipated debut in Milan. 

When Daniel Lee abruptly exited the label at the end of last year, questions began circulating about the future of the brand. Could it keep up the momentum without Lee, a mastermind of it-shoes, at its helm? Or was it time to store all those Lido Mules and Lug boots away – once upon a time the hottest pieces every shoe lover was trying to score?

Following Blazy’s debut, held at the 19th century Milanese landmark Palazzo San Fedele, it became clear that Bottega will stay  at the forefront of the fashion conversation for many seasons to come. 

In fact, this might be the time to really invest in the brand’s accessories more than ever before, as Blazy is proposing more refined, timeless pieces designed to transcend age and seasonal trends. 

His aim was to adopt a “pragmatic” approach and identify those brand codes that “make Bottega Veneta, Bottega Veneta” – namely traditional leather craft; luxurious materials; subtle elegance; and of course the famous “intrecciato” interwoven leather. 

Bottega Veneta vowen boots
bottega veneta aw22 shoes
bottega veneta aw22 shoes
Bottega Veneta vowen boots

Images courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

“Bottega Veneta is a leather goods company. It’s about movement, going somewhere; there is fundamentally an idea of craft in motion. It is style over fashion in its timelessness. That is part of its quiet power,” said Blazy, who worked for the likes of Raf Simmons, Phoebe Philo, as well as Lee, before taking the top job at Bottega. 

In pursuit of this “quiet power” he began his show with a seemingly simple white tee and denim trousers which were in fact crafted in leather – a real palette cleanser and the most powerful indication that you don’t always need to shout for attention. 

He adopted the same mindset in the shoe department where the hero styles were knee-high leather boots and fuss-free slippers crafted in the brand’s famous interwoven leather. 

bottega veneta aw22 shoes
bottega veneta aw22 shoes
bottega veneta aw22 shoes
bottega veneta aw22 shoes

Images courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

The boots – woven as a single piece by Bottega’s master craftsmen – were styled with chic trench coats, loose tailoring, or leather dresses to creat looks that were timeless, luxe, and had the right amount of fashion edge too. 

While his focus was on a quieter, more subtle elegance, Blazy still offered moments of joy, and experimentation on the catwalk – especially when it came to the shoes.

Mary Jane pumps featuring extra high platforms, oversized buckles, and block heels added a playful touch to classic navy pea coats and monochrome suits, while the classic knee boot shape was also updated in playful metallic leathers for the fashion adventurers. 

A pair of bright orange, fluffy faux-fur platforms also suggested that this is a designer with a sense of humour, who will always keep us guessing. 

“The questions isn’t why? But why not? It’s ultimately the wearer’s decision how they will tell their own tales through these pieces. And it is perhaps this that defines what Bottega Veneta truly stands for: an emotional investment in objects for life,” added the brand in its show notes.

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