AT THIS point the two words on everyone in Milan’s lips is Matthieu Blazy. The creative director of Bottega Veneta is only a season down at this point, and with his sophomore collection for the Italian brand accumulating not only a heavy pressure on what he will do next, but a buzz so loud every ounce of attention is on him, his spring-summer 2023 collection was one to watch.
Commissioning design pioneer Gaetano Pesce to design the show space, the architect explained that the backdrop to the collection was inspired by the notion of individuality. “This space is a tribute to diversity,” he begins. “It is about the human being; we are all different. People who say we are all the same – fuck them! We are all different and this is our defining quality – otherwise, we are just a copy. We are all originals and this is one of the themes of my design”.
In the show notes, Blazy simple explains: “The world in a small rom: the premise is simple – the collection is about a contrast of characters on the go, invited to travel through Gaetano Pesce’s landscape. Here, two distinct worlds are juxtaposed, while our journey of craft in motion and quiet power continues”. In other words, Blazy is making clothes to be worn and the luxury is not necessarily in its appearance but as a ‘private pleasure’.
Archetypal garments are praised here but reimagined through the lense of Italian ateliers adding a sense of subversion to tradition. Plaid shirts made from leather, relaxed chinos and Allez Hop! bags slung over shoulders provide an insight into the everyday, while suiting for men strays away from the pristine dimensions and reveals a more stripped down silhouette.
Looking more closely at the collection, twisted mouliné in contrasting colours adds an element of tension to dresses, cotton crepe is put onto nylon sheer jerseys and knitted jacquards appear in futurist patterns, all idiosyncratic elements to how the designer plays with appearance – there is actually nothing simple about the minimalist clothes.
“Moving between the archetypal and the individual, through clothing and character, I wanted to design not just for one woman or one man, but for women and men. From the perverse banality of the everyday nubuck looks, to eroticism of ultra-sophistication through tailoring, via the look of the bourgeois left of the past, to the souvenirs worn by a high-brow traveller… The whole world is a small room,” finishes Blazy.
While most of us glaze of the nuances that make the everyday, Matthieu Blazy relishes in the mundane. At a House with a history of serious craftsmanship and leatherwork reappraisal with every new addition, season upon season, Blazy is able to utilise the artisans around him to inject the luxury into our staple pieces – and with Kate Moss walking down the runway in jeans and a tank, maybe fashion is just all about celebrating the clothes that never go out of style.
by Imogen Clark