Detroit may not be a city that first comes to mind as a fashion power player — it’s better known for its rich musical history (techno was born there) and of course, for cars. But, for a night editors, stylists, and celebrity trendsetters flocked to the Motor City to take in Bottega Veneta’s Spring/Summer 2022 runway show. The small-format presentation, Salon 03, is the Italian fashion house’s third ready-to-wear collection shown in its new off-schedule format, modeled after the small couture presentations of the early 20th century.
For the Oct. 21 event, creative director Daniel Lee took over the Michigan Building Theatre, where celebrities like Lil’ Kim, Mary J. Blige, Zazie Beetz, and Debi Mazar sat front row, perched on metal bleachers beneath the crumbling cathedral ceiling. Once the lights dimmed and models made their way around the square runway, it became clear that Lee (who grew up in Leeds, an industrial city in Northern England not unlike Detroit) had plenty of inspiration drawn from the history of practical American fashion.
In addition to the sportswear-inspired separates and denim ensembles reminiscent of factory uniforms, Lee opted for relaxed silhouettes — even in eveningwear. The clothing may be luxe (with a price tag to match), but it definitely isn’t stuffy. In fact, the shorter hemlines and prevalence of sneakers made this collection Lee’s most youth-oriented collection to date. The designer also takes to technical fabrics, like one woven with a metal thread that allows for the proportions of a garment to be changed by puffing or scrunching it, to imbue a sense of elegance and luxury. “Bottega Veneta is really a house of technique,” he told Vogue.
Taking in the collection altogether, one thing that stands out immediately is Lee’s penchant for green — and not just the brand’s signature Kelly hue — there was everything from neon, to sage, to British racing green, styled back to black, or at times with a pop of tangerine orange. Color has long served as an important element of Lee’s world, and come spring, you can expect to see fashion insiders drawn back to the color.
And not to be missed are the brand’s accessories — what has helped to thrust Lee’s take on the brand into the fashion zeitgeist once again. For spring, Bottega Veneta’s more classic silhouettes got the Detroit treatment, with the addition of industrial and mechanical-inspired details. The collection was also stacked with sneakers, and as the press release explains, “trainer technology is translated into high heels,” meaning that you can count on your feet being plenty comfortable. The brand also traded the now-signature square toe for pointy toe heels instead. Jewelry, including spiked enamel hoops, shimmering chunky collars, and thick metal rings reflects a mix of the organic and mechanic — drawing inspiration from cacti and crustaceans — but, overall still fitting the slick, simple aesthetic of the collection overall.
Below, see more from the collection. You may want to take notes because odds are, the It items of Spring will come from this collection.