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Revisiting the past to predict the future, and, at the same time, adapting to present needs. Daniel Lee looks back in Bottega Veneta's Spring/Summer 2021 collection, Salon 01, exploring how fashion shows used to be decades ago. Guests which could be counted on the fingers of one hand, an easy pace which allowed the audience to appreciate every detail, and models roaming through the venue freely, making every attendant part of the event. A trip back in time – in the shape of a physical show – which took place on October 9 at Sadler's Wells in London, which now sees the light by offering comfort and texture, understanding clothing as an emotive second skin. Knitwear replaces leather as a symbol of an upcoming post-pandemic era defined by the search for well-being. In short, a reduction to the essence.
Aware of the need to consolidate the bond with his audience by offering them new experiences, the British designer who made The Pouch, the most desired bag shortly after landing in the Italian brand, transcends aesthetics to immerse himself in emotion. And so he does through three books created exclusively for the occasion, inviting us to delve into his creative universe. A first volume, dedicated to his own references and sources of inspiration, in which we find Peter Lindbergh's work or Pina Bausch portraits, among many others. A second one, in which German conceptual artist Rosemarie Trockel document her vision of Lee’s collection, making her passion for knitwear more than evident. And a third and final book which brings us closer to Salon 01 through the eyes of Tyrone Lebon.

Strident and frenetic soundtracks are gone. This time, Swedish singer Neneh Cherry is in charge of giving voice to the collection with a piece in which she reflects on freedom, protection or beauty. Monochromatic looks, knitted dresses, silhouettes from the sixties and even garments that incorporate real shells, walk around the guests, far from each other under the sanitary protocol. Fringes change from leather to crochet and increase their thickness, providing an extra dose of texture and tactility. This transformation towards softness also affects the accessories, so acclaimed during the last seasons. A prediction of what fashion will be like once the pandemic is over: functional without sacrificing good taste.


David Alarcón

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