Bottega Veneta launches quarterly digital journal
Just when people were debating the merits of Bottega Veneta skipping out of social media, when along comes the brand and launches a quarterly digital journal.
Entitled Issue 01, it’s a rather brilliant assemblage of fine art, photography, fashion and live videos, including a specially commissioned video of Missy Elliott doing an updated version of her classic 1999 dance track Hot Boyz, shot by photographer Tyrone Lebon.
Along with a scarily real fashion flick of UK parkour gang Storror, dashing and leaping over rooftop and around chimneys in Bottega Veneta collections. Multiple Bottega objects are cleverly reimagined in unlikely materials: high heels, mules or mega-hit matelassé pumps in marble; handbags in Yves Klein blue or lime green in Perspex; yellow boots or clutches in wobbly yellow or purple jelly; slingbacks in liquorice, leaves or even icing.
All capturing the arty, ergonomic style of Daniel Lee, the creative director of Bottega Veneta, one of the few brands in fashion that actually grew business last year, this designer is so hot.
“Social media represents the homogenization of culture. Everyone sees the same stream of content. A huge amount of thought goes into what I do, and social media oversimplifies it,” explained the famously reserved Lee in an interview with The Guardian.
Nonetheless, images of Issue 01, which launched today, already seeping all over Instagram.
Issue 01 also contains a stylish fashion shoot amid the mid-century classicism of Milan or the fashion capital’s Giardini Publici with uber model Maria Carla Boscono in a great beige suede trench or feminine greatcoats, alongside gals in micro bolero flight jackets or beautifully embellished coral-hued dresses.
All underlining the great sense of architectural cutting in Lee’s oeuvre, also highlighted by footage of a recent Bottega catwalk show in Sadler’s Wells, London, narrated by Neneh Cherry.
Added to all that, lots of folding of balloons, suggesting the thought process behind the intricate style of Bottega Veneta’s silver and cubic Zirconia necklaces or bracelets.
A fast-paced jumble of drone shots of hundreds of toy cars; posters for Bottega Veneta All Night Long parties with mesh high heels and BV’s spring/summer 2021 ad campaign. Shot by Lebon, it features an inclusive cast of handsome lotharios and hyper-assured chiselled-jawed wasps in jumpsuits, green pantsuits or towelling jackets lying on couches and chaise longues in the exact same material or color as the outfits.
For light relief there are roller-disco snaps and a series of wall hangings featuring looks from various Bottega Veneta collections and a section dedicated to fellow fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki, the famed founder of Biba, shot in her studio, seen via sketches of moody beauties, or even modelling on a giant sleeve trench coat.
After a brilliant decade of growth up until 2015, Bottega Veneta, which is part of the giant French luxury group Kering, had badly lost its way a half decade ago. However, the arrival of Lee has sparked a remarkable turnaround in the brand. No wonder he won four British Fashion Council Awards in 2019.
Indeed, everything Lee touches seems to turn to gold. He may have taken Bottega out of social media, but the brand’s Instagram coverage is still intense.
“There is a mood of playground bullying on social media which I don’t really like. I wanted to do something joyful instead. We are not just a brand, we are a team of people who work together, and I don’t want to collude in an atmosphere that feels negative,” Lee told The Guardian’s Jess Cartner-Morley.
Whatever else, Issue 01 made for an impressive catalogue of this designer’s ideas, blended together with his inspiration and multiple suggestions of his own thinking and editing process. Maybe skipping Instagram might turn out to be prescient.
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