An Ital­ian Reign

Like Dar­win’s the­ory of evo­lu­tion, Bot­tega Veneta’s changes come slowly and thought­fully

Augustman - - The Neo-luddite - WORDS DAR­REN HO PHO­TOS BOT­TEGA VENETA

FASH­ION IS A CU­RI­OUS EX­PE­RI­ENCE. It’s about sen­si­bil­ity, style and qual­ity; that’s es­pe­cially true in high fash­ion. It can get very tech­ni­cal at times when de­sign­ers talk about the use of ma­te­ri­als, treat­ment tech­niques and more. But at its core is emo­tion. It’s how that item makes you feel, how you re­spond to it, how it in­vokes a me­mory or in­spires you.

Add to that the chrono­log­i­cal dis­tance that high fash­ion places be­tween the ac­tual run­way event and prod­uct ar­rivals in store, and it can be a chal­lenge to con­jure the same level of en­thu­si­asm as when you first saw the show. The big­gest chal­lenge for de­sign­ers must be to in­vent some­thing that’s new and trendy but also pos­sesses the abil­ity to ig­nite his au­di­ence in the same way both oc­ca­sions.

With To­mas Maier’s tribute to the ju­bilee of the house of Bot­tega Veneta, rec­ol­lec­tion was a breeze. He brought back one of the first in­stances the brand made its mark on the gen­eral pub­lic: Lau­ren Hut­ton in Amer­i­can Gigolo, car­ry­ing a red Bot­tega Veneta clutch and wear­ing a trench coat. That scene was love, lust and se­duc­tion wrapped up in one mo­ment. With Bot­tega’s clutch in Hut­ton’s arm.

At the Ac­cademia di Belle Arti di Br­era, a school ded­i­cated to the fine arts in Mi­lan, not far from the Duomo and the Scala Theatre,

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