LUELLA BARTLEY TAKING SHOW ON THE ROAD
Byline: James Fallon
LONDON — Luella Bartley is taking a little bit of Cool Brittania to Milan for a season.
In a last-minute change, the designer said Monday she will show her fall collection in Milan instead of here. The details were being completed Monday, but Bartley is expected to show on the morning of March 6.
Bartley had been due to show in London on Feb. 20. The change occurred because Bottega Veneta — in which Gucci NV last week acquired a 66.6 percent stake — offered the designer the use of its show venue. Bottega Veneta is showing its collection on March 5. Bartley said the opportunity was too good to pass up.
“We were invited by Bottega Veneta, which is the only reason we’re going,” Bartley said. “Otherwise we’d still be in London, because we’re very much a London label. It’s only for one season, but we felt that it was a chance to raise our profile.”
Bottega Veneta has helped Bartley ever since she launched her label four seasons ago, including producing shoes and bags for her collection. For fall, the company has produced a special Luella handbag, which Bartley said is, for the moment, only a showpiece.
Bartley’s shows have become one of London’s hottest tickets over the past three seasons and are mini-happenings in their own right. Last season, she had Kate Moss on the runway, and two seasons ago, it was Sadie Frost, wife of Jude Law, while British stars such as Jarvis Cocker and Sharleen Spiteri of the group Texas were in the audience.
Henri Bendel last month invited Bartley to appear at the store, along with fellow British designer Sophia Kokosalaki and the French designers Alexandre Morgado and Matthieu Bureau of the label Alexandre et Matthieu.
“This gives us a chance to take the whole London scene to Milan and cause chaos there,” Bartley joked. “It’s the Luella road show.”