Bottega Veneta SS22: utilitarian chic meets ballroom glamour

Daniel Lee presented his SS22 collection for the Italian house in Detroit, showcasing a uniform for our return to “real life”, imbued with a welcome theatricality.

On Thursday, creative director Daniel Lee presented his SS22 collection, Salon 03, his third new-format show for Bottega Veneta. The venue was a vast, domed ballroom in Detroit – a nod to the designer’s passion for techno and an apt follow-up to his last show at storied Berlin nightclub, Berghain.

SS22 was a more restrained affair than Lee’s previous offering, with its abundance of feathers and strawberry-shaped fringed shearling coats, but it wasn’t without flair. The show opened with a number of slick, ivory-hued workwear ensembles (a matching jacket and trouser combo that would appear in various colours and fabrics throughout the show), interspersed with whimsical white dresses with flouncy skater skirts.

As ever, bold silhouettes were a standout element of the collection, courtesy of exaggerated round shoulders on parkas and tailored jackets, and an array of balloon and leg of lamb sleeves, which lent an air of Lord Byron-esque romanticism to flowing shirts and dresses.

A muted palette of white, tan, black and navy was interrupted by moments of ballroom sheen: from chainmail and sequins (used for mini dresses in citrusy yellows and greens) through to a plethora of tactile, wet-look and metallic fabrics.

Lee’s love of texture took root in intricately knitted tracksuits and ruched-sleeve dresses, fluffy shoes, a wonderfully puffy dressing gown coat and a wrap-around-towel-style dress, which made light of the working-from-home styling habits to which we’ve all become accustomed.

Accessories came in bright block colours, with bags ranging from woven clutches to vinyl shoppers, and footwear spanning puddle boots, clogs, chunky-heeled sandals and sneakers.

All in all, the collection made the case for pared-back casualwear, elevated by expert tailoring and enlivened by unexpected moments of colour, texture and shine. A uniform for our return to real life”, with a hearty dash of theatricality and fun.

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