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From the moment he took the helm at Bottega Veneta in 2018, Daniel Lee has reflected and refracted the image of the Vincenza-born luxury house to create the luxury brand of now. As he invites us down the rabbit hole of house archives, classic techniques are continually reinterpreted, contexts shifted, and proportions pushed as his “new Bottega” continues to be award-winning, imagination-igniting, and bank account draining. Through Daniel’s distorting, ever-revolving kaleidoscopic lens a familiar luxury instantly becomes otherworldly, yet wearable – Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta creates clothes to live in. This soft-power mantra is at its loudest within its Wardrobe series.
As padded bustiers sat alongside silk-satin slip dresses, mittens and mountain boots fit for a faux-fur yeti, looks continually challenged our perceptions and expectations. Under the guise of practicality, the language of sportswear fused with fashion and the practical romanced through exaggeration. Seen through the prism of Miu Miu, the fragile can be reinvented to become brave, the utilitarian can become beautiful and pleasurable and the decorative can suddenly have reason, new purpose. Strength and fragility, courage and aggression, these are realities inside our fantasies.Launched last year for Pre-Spring, the Wardrobe 01 collection marked a new beginning of go-to staples punctuated with high impact seasonal pieces. Focussed on providing the pieces that will forever hang in our wardrobes, the curation of versatile elevated everyday wear encouraged us all to live our best lives. While the global pandemic pressed pause on our 2020 realities, the launch of Wardrobe 02 provides a timely reminder of how to dress and live today, tomorrow, and beyond. After spending much of the lockdown in his Milan-based studio mulling over the role fashion can play in a post-Covid world, the Bradford-born creative director continued his playful subversions of modern luxury iconography, manipulations of house signatures and design pillars of colour, contrasts and layering. For Daniel, fashion is about freedom, self-expression, and letting go. Today, its power is more vital than ever.
From elevated casualwear that combines nylon and leather to clean-lined tailoring that fuses classic sartorialism with comfortable fabrications, Wardrobe 02 delights in the dualities between comfort and exaggeration, subtlety with excess. Throughout, the refined and restrained allure driven by the tailoring of the Italian maison is juxtaposed with glamorous details of excess, including feathers, crystals, sequins, glitter, and rhinestones. Chic yet charismatic, sophisticated yet playful, Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta provides everything you need to not only survive, but thrive, as we move out of lockdown into a better tomorrow.