Port examines the bold new collection from Bottega Veneta’s new creative director, Daniel Lee
When German designer Tomas Maier stepped down as creative director of Bottega Veneta after seventeen years of service, many wondered who could fill the void his departure left. Enter Daniel Lee, the 32 year old British designer relatively unknown outside the industry, but who has made a bold, confident statement with his first collection. Pre fall 2019 heralds a fresh, modernist perspective and understated aesthetic, acting as the first glimpse of a new era.
Graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2011, Lee was most recently director of ready-to-wear at Céline under Phoebe Philo, and previously worked for Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan. Elegant, soft and generous, the collection lays out the foundations of his future direction and establishes signature shapes and silhouettes using textiles like leather, silk, and wool. The harmony between the men’s and women’s clothing is a conscious decision, both playing with looser proportions and sharing a sensuality that Lee honed whilst working at Céline. The iconic intrecciato weave has now become magnified with giant criss-crossing leather panels on pants and bags. Rich natural colours like cordovan, espresso, amber and oxblood compliment and contrast with the brands recognisable chalk and Milanese black.
For Lee, “maintaining the ingrained codes of Bottega Veneta, craftsmanship, quality and sophistication,” was fundamental to the collection, adding that he “looks forward to evolving what has gone before.”. By staying true to the fashion house’s natural materials and Italian heritage, whilst at the same time offering progressive change, Lee has demonstrated that the luxury label is ready for a reset. How this manifests itself exactly will be illustrated at the AW19 show in February, 2019.