Bottega Veneta’s Pre-Fall 2019 collection is Creative Director Daniel Lee’s first offering. It was not presented on the runway but rather an exercise in intimacy, in true essentialism. Lee draws from the patrimony of Bottega Veneta but lays his own foundations and establishes his signature shapes and silhouettes.

The clothes are “generous, warm and kind, tenderly hugging the body, protecting. There is no rigidity, the softness of Bottega Veneta’s cabat bags is applied to an entire collection. A sensuality is expressed throughout, coats tailored to a slender line,” according to the brand.

For the collection as a whole, the notion of skin is a constant, either revealed through transparency or windows opened onto the body itself, or in a reiterated use of leather, Bottega Veneta’s signature material. Meanwhile, the menswear toys with the concept of sprezzatura, an unstudied, natural ease. There is a play with looser, louche proportions. There is mixing of the relaxed with the formal to evoke the reality of dressing today.

The knot, an emblematic element for Bottega Veneta, is subtly reflected in the knit and chain jewellery, while the intrecciato is blown to macro-size on both accessories and garments. Materials used include cashmere, silk, wool, cotton, shearling and a wide range of leather. Colours are natural:  cordovan, espresso, amber, oxblood, chalk and Milanese black.

The exceptional leather working skills of Bottega Veneta’s artisans are on display with the new accessories. They feature the distinctive intrecciato leather weave design developed by the brand while also applying other methods of knotting, weaving, braiding to the range of handbags as well as footwear. The latter are streamlined variations of classic men’s footwear. The hardware on bags, belts and even jewellery draw on Milanese Reductionism featuring hammered balls and chains in gold and silver. The structure in the accessories collection is minimal and architectural, using the natural qualities of material to achieve their effects.