It was quite an eventful night for Bottega Veneta in Detroit, Michigan. For starters, it was the first time in a while that the brand opted for a live runway show without any veil of secrecy. And it was quite a star-studded event as well, with music and hip-hop royalty the likes of Mary J. Blige, Lil Kim, and Kehlani seated up in the front.
But with all the musicians in attendance, creative director Daniel Lee didn't exactly theme Bottega Veneta's Salon 03 collection around music—for which Detroit has a longstanding history of. Instead, the collection took on an overarching narrative of an innovative spirit that the city constantly projects. Aside from being the birthplace of techno and the Motown sound, Detroit is also where the American automobile industry is centred around.
It's appropriate then that the Salon 03 collection was teeming with innovative plays in terms of fabrications, especially with sustainability in mind. It's an element that the luxury brands under Kering have been constantly pushing for and it's more pronounced for Bottega Veneta than ever in Salon 03.
For example, the nylons used in the collection are all derived from recycled sources, while the cottons are certified organic (an arguably much better option than traditional cotton). Rubber beads and sequins used throughout the collection are also made from bio-based materials and thus, more sustainable. Rubbery yarn that's apparent in a number of pieces are said to be biodegradable as well.
While there's no specifics to the percentage or statistics of the eco-conscious materials used throughout Salon 03, it's definitely still a marked improvement in the luxury fashion space. What I'm hoping is that this isn't a one-off—the last thing Bottega Veneta needs is to be called out for greenwashing and only pushing sustainability as part of a theme and not as a company-wide initiative.
Look and feel: It was quite a casual affair and American in its use of sportswear and workwear influences, but at the same time, in line with Lee's direction for the brand. There was hardly any tailoring this time around, with menswear pieces revolving around coordinated separates in monochromatic tones. Metallic threads played a part in creating shine and brilliance, traipsing along the line of formality but still rooted in a sense of calculated casual air. There was also an ease in the way that the looks were put together—nothing was ever too stuffy or too styled. This was an easy collection built around straightforward pieces.
Favourite looks: Green has become such a signature colour for Bottega Veneta and for Salon 03, it comes in varying shades. For a fresh spring-ready interpretation, turn to look 29's soft colourway in the form of a workwear-inspired ensemble crafted in those aforementioned metallic threads. If wearing as it was on the runway is not something you'd gravitate towards, a simple tee underneath that overshirt would suffice. There's also a more visibly glossy treatment of the same look but done in an intoxicating green hue (look 31) for those looking for something punchier.
Because I love anything with a touch of flou, look 41's metallic shirt complete with tasselled scarf and cummerbund juxtaposed with a more utilitarian pair of trousers, was one that immediately caught my eye. It did seem to be somewhat of an oddity as part of a collection that's more grounded, but hey, I'm certainly not complaining.
And for something that quite literally spoke volumes on the runway, there's look 50—a hooded parka matched with oil-slick blazer and wide-leg trousers. The parka's sleeves were pushed up to create some volume and drama to an otherwise minimal look, and I'm all here for it.