When the former director of ready-to-wear at Celine took the helm at Bottega Veneta in 2017, it didn't take long before the fashion industry turned to the Italian brand for its Old Celine-Phoebe Philo-era fix (and we were rather forlorn, after Hedi Slimane's New Celine debut). Daniel Lee 's premiere collection proved the British designer was a master at elegant simplicity. With his latest offering, Lee told WWD it was about “solidifying icons…the things we’ve become known for.”
Specifically, Lee went on to say “his goal for spring was an expression of ease, and that the first thought he wants people to associate with the brand is of ‘living in the moment, enjoying life.’” This seems to be a reoccurring theme over in Milan, where designers are asking their clientele to take it easy, both figuratively and literally. Post-Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi's latest collection aims to feel like your favorite vacation (or at least dress you for your next one), while Prada wants folks to adorn themselves more personally. And for Bottega Venetta that means softer silhouettes than what we've see from Lee previously.
For spring 2020, Lee presented luxurious one-shoulder dresses, buttery-soft leather trousers and matching shirts, relaxed suiting (including shorts), and billow-y trenches. And of course the accessories were a treat. Vogue reported “reps from one major department store reported that they can’t keep the pieces in stock.” The fashion magazine heralded Lee's influence, reminding us that “the world got its first glimpse of his vision for Bottega Veneta via look book last December, when the brand released its Pre-Fall images, but we’re already seeing other designers taking cues from him.”
The entire offering seemed to cement that isn't your grandmother's Bottega Venetta, a brand that's always produced sturdy yet chic shoes and handbags. There is a distinct coolness with Lee's offering. And it's exactly what the fashion industry's been missing.