The renaissance of Bottega Veneta under the helm of its new Brit Creative Director Daniel Lee has been stratospheric. Vogue aptly named this designer from Bradford ‘The Quiet Radical’ after his understated, singular vision of the brand’s quiet, modern elegance sent siesmic ripples through the fashion and Instagram world, alike. Key accessories – think padded mules and pouch clutch bags – became overnight icons. International waiting lists ensued. In fact, Bottega bags never even made it onto the shop floor at Browns. Harrods dedicated their exhibition windows to his new collection for the whole of February, and Lee has just taken Milan by storm with his easy-to-wear collection for AW20. Suffice to say, fashion’s new boy wonder is busy creating the world’s most-wanted products.
What is at the heart of these much-coveted designs, is a pumped up, modernised play on the brand’s distinctive, signature style. Leather, often woven, is now plush, inflated, exaggerated. A key part of the allure is a winning combination of comfort and photogenic appeal – it's a modern recipe for success. Take the Lido Sandal which comes in an array of dreamy, wearable shades. The form is classic, but with a puffy, interlacing style it’s elevated to new territory. The Casette Bag, so simple in shape, looks as though it’s been inflated with an air pump, and the effect is both glossy and plentiful. And who hasn’t fallen in love with the powerhouse that is The Pouch? It’s the clutch bag reinvented, this time in sophisticated pillow form.
The Bottega effect means bold, quilted accessories are a sure way of displaying serious fashion credentials. And this season, there’s a lot out there to choose from. High street giants Zara, Topshop and Mango have all done their version of the padded mule, and in key shades of the season such as pale blue and buttermilk. Alongside Bottega, Gucci and Miu Miu always deliver on lust-worthy quilted bags. Also, look out for the Gabi Top Handle Bag by The Volon, The Glam Slam bag by Maison Margiela and Marques’ Almeida’s Gathered clutch. Again, there are great high street options out there that offer a more affordable option – Zara’s Quilted Maxi Crossbody comes in a fun metallic blue, as well as a more low-key grey denim. Mango, meanwhile, has a subtle mint green version. Pastels are big news and pale colours look particularly chic in sculpted leather so if you can, steer clear of darker shades. If your world is currently all about the headband, head to Marta Ferri for a pretty, chic oversized plaited band.
Diving into the world of modern volume doesn’t need to stop with accessories – I love the easy to wear quilted cotton jackets on offer everywhere from Fendi to Topshop – perfect with high waisted trousers and a sweat. A great trans-seasonal piece that keeps the wind chill off but doesn’t overly heat, there are some absolute gems to choose from. Ganni has given the denim jacket a bit of a twist with their version; Topshop have a cool pale grey with chevron stitching; while Free People produced a pretty dusky pink one for something more feminine. My go-to for this kind of jacket is Isabel Marant but Nanushka have a great, cropped vegan leather bomber that’s ideal for spring. If it’s high end you’re gravitating towards, then Fendi and Bottega are the ultimate destinations for giving your whole wardrobe a padded make over.
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