Daniel Lee said he’s “cementing the new codes of what Bottega Veneta is becoming” as he guided a visitor through of the brand’s resort collection in Milan. To be sure, Lee evolved some of the previous fabrications and techniques, giving the lineup more ease and softness. The designer said he wanted to convey “a sense of simplicity and cleanliness which felt very relevant.”
There was some fluid tailoring, as in a beautiful brown pantsuit. But not too fluid, as fabrics always had a level of structure to help the designs hold their shape. The suit was shown with a light and soft turtleneck in leather — a material that continues to be key for Bottega Veneta. It got a waterproof treatment for a practical poncho. Functionality, in addition to craftsmanship, was a priority for Lee. “The clothes are very substantial. I don’t want the designs to be superfluous or decorative for the sake of it, everything has a reason,” he explained.
Leather was also printed over a gabardine trenchcoat for a cool graphic effect. Another leather trench came with a sophisticated ribbing on the back.
Bottega Veneta’s intrecciato weave, a starting point for the designer, was reworked as a drape on a knitted dress, on a quilted skirt and as a padded shirtfront. With an element of sparkle, the motif was reproduced in a pretty evening dress. “I feel like this is the most feminine collection I’ve done so far,” said Lee, who has three efforts under his belt.
The color palette was more somber and sophisticated, with accents of pistachio, sage green, light yellow or mauve.
Leather spirals appeared as bracelets and as elements on sandals, which also cinched the hem of the pants. “I wanted to keep the clothes sober and wearable and have fun with the accessories,” Lee said. And fun he did have, supersizing soft intrecciato bags — also padded — or reworking a Nineties special weave technique. There were some intriguing structured leather bags reproducing a marble print seen at Bottega Veneta’s Montebello headquarters, and bags with handles that can be worn as bracelets.