A New Era at Bottega Veneta: See Matthieu Blazy’s Debut Collection

The designer’s understated Fall/Winter 2022 collection was an eagerly awaited event at Milan Fashion Week.

When it was announced that Creative Director Daniel Lee was departing Italian label Bottega Veneta, the fashion industry erupted into a state of shock-filled confusion. Lee, who helmed the heritage house since 2018, had transformed the once stagnant label thanks to supple, padded accessories, minimal ready-to-wear, and of course, the signature ‘Bottega Green.’

Though speculation of who would take the reins of the house included a host of A-list industry names, it was ultimately Belgian Mathieu Blazy who was tapped as the brand’s new creative director. Blazy, a long-time collaborator of Lee, has an impressive resume that includes stints at the likes of Balenciaga, Maison Margiela, Cèline, and Calvin Klein. Now, the designer has unveiled his hotly anticipated Fall/Winter 2022 debut collection—a delightful showing of relaxed suiting and thoughtful separates. 

While Blazy’s debut was not a stark departure from the design tenants of Bottega Veneta, the Belgian certainly made his creative presence known. Starting off with a pair of low-rise ‘jeans’—which were in fact made of leather—Blazy then found his footing with relaxed suiting and a focus on leatherwork. Aside from the occasional feather or fringe, the collection felt supremely unfussy. Honing in on wearable, well-made separates, Blazy certainly signaled his intent for the future of the Italian label.

Muted hues—deep browns, ochre, and navy—were centerpieces of the collection while pops of bright red and yellow offered a welcomed departure. Splashes of sequins interrupted the tonal ready-to-wear, especially towards the tail end of the collection where slinky, sheer dresses were paired with silver and gold metallic boots. Though deep greens were seen painted on slinky evening dresses and on knee-high boots, Daniel Lee’s infamous “Bottega Green” was notably absent.

Lucious leather outerwear, fringe-filled circle dresses, and oversized suiting were common themes this season for Blazy while sartorial ventures such as fur trims and latex juxtaposed the already chic silhouettes. Too, as is expected with the Italian brand, accessories were a major anchor throughout the collection. The label’s signature woven ‘intrecciato’ technique was seen on crossbody bags, statement-making boots, and brightly colored belts and are certain to be commercial hits.

Time will tell whether Bottega Veneta’s newly appointed creative director Matthieu Blazy will receive the commercial and industry success that Daniel Lee did. Though Blazy did revive key silhouettes of the brand’s storied past, he introduced a bevy of key silhouettes and design trademarks to keep an eye on—knee-high boots, mismatched knitwear, and lots of leather. And if the Belgian designer’s Fall debut is any indicator, he will be at the tip of the industry’s tongue sooner rather than later.

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