When Daniel Lee assumed the role of Creative Director at Bottega Veneta, very little was known of the young, British designer. But when Lee’s first Ready-to-Wear collection made its debut in Spring, it was clear where he cut his teeth; the accented, holy Céline of yesteryear. A graduate of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, the 32-year-old British designer worked for Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan before helming Céline’s Ready-to-Wear Design skew under the formidable Phoebe Philo, an era now regrettably referred to as “Old Céine” for many.
Today, with the release of Lee’s first Fall campaign for Bottega, it’s clear why they chose him. In the sun-bleached concrete basin of Joshua Tree, California, Lee’s deft, directional vision comes to life. Lensed by photographer Tyrone Lebon, the campaign explores a “new vision of a modern, unapologetic luxury” via the recognisable and very beautiful visages of Adut Akech and Anna Ewers. It’s a little Transformers meets luxury Italian leather; a shiny gold race car suspended from the sky, lofty turtlenecks and leather quilting – arguably the House’s new intrecciato.
There’s also a naked Anna Ewers crouched against a sorbet sky in nothing but Bottega’s cult Padded Bloc Pumps, a powerful visual language of both fashion and art and this new era-Bottega. Riffing both post-modern symbols of status and glamour, the Fall 2019 campaign draws on inevitable comparisons between man and machine through the kind of contemporary lens Lee is becoming known for.
In his own words, “Bottega Veneta is about defining a point of view, a new way of seeing subtle individuality, and then subverting that status.” Subversion, but rendered impossibly stylish; welcome to Bottega Veneta’s brave new, very chic world.