Mathieu Plessis’ Globetrotting Bottega Veneta Collection Dazzles – WWD

In less than two years, Matthieu Blazy has inspired Bottega Veneta with a truly original design vision steeped in innovation, storytelling, intense craftsmanship and talent.

His spring show was gripping, transportive and often breathtaking, with an electricity rivaled perhaps only by Prada in Milan.

You can feel it immediately upon entering the show space: its floor is a bright blue expanse of ceramic tiles that bring to mind a seafood restaurant or a swimming pool. It was printed with an innocently drawn map of the world, fish, birds and even the designer’s pet dog.

After a trilogy of collections rooted in Italy, inspired by a line in one of his favorite books, Jack Kerouac’s „On the Road,” Blazey opened his imagination to the world: „Are you going somewhere? Or are you just going?”

„That line is so beautiful because it opens up a world of possibilities. And the answer to that question could be the collection,” he said during a preview at his studio last week.

Anyone who’s been to a post-pandemic airport knows the appetite for travel, whether it’s to experience another culture or discover different landscapes, flora and fauna.

Blazey’s cultural references were blurred because many of them were found in many geographies and countries. For example, Bottega extended the signature Intrecciata technique to new areas and asked artisans to recreate basket weaving techniques that faithfully recreate the look and feel of banana leaves used in Asia, South America and the Southeast. Asia.

He certainly wanted to avoid any accusations of cultural appropriation by being too specific. That is, „I’m sick and tired of not being able to refer to other cultures, because the world is made of this richness,” he said. „I think culture, arts and crafts belong to the world.”

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Blazey also wanted to exalt the wonders of nature. During the preview, she took several photos of the runway looks and turned them upside down, demonstrating how her fringed leather tops and cocoon coats resemble cacti or exotic flowers in full bloom.

Two-thirds of the way through the show came bubble-shaped skirts and feather-like fringe treatments on dresses that made you think of exotic birds. Some of his sandals were made of vines that grew beautifully around the leg.

Even without knowing the narrative of the collection, you can see the creatures and characters: castwear in T-shirts or black bathing suits; a sailor with button-front pants and a large rucksack; Business travelers in pinstriped knitwear, and nomads sewing their beautiful blankets.

Plessi’s approach to decorating is rooted entirely in savoir-faire, not razzmatazz, and that’s a perfect fit for Bottega Veneta.

Rustic sweaters and oversized coats woven from leather like tweed, herringbone or spiky fur look too heavy and bulky for spring collections. Blazey experimented with supersized peacoats and men’s overcoats, and large, firecracker-like bursts of raffia on mesh dresses that closed the show.

But practicality takes a backseat to the fashion thrills offered by this blockbuster show.

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