MFW SS20: Bottega Veneta

ALL EYES are set on Daniel Lee, the British designer now at the helm of Italian label Bottega Veneta. Since his arrival, his keystone additions to the brand (such as the ruched leather clutch bag, aptly named The Pouch, or the square-toed strappy sandals seen on many an influencer) have undoubtedly become the most coveted accessories of the year, taking over the wishlists of industry insiders while also regularly being in a state of selling out, which then of course fans the flames of consumer desire even more. When a designer makes waves as much as he does, questions will always remain: how will Lee continue to ride on his success and what is next for Bottega?

For the Spring Summer 2020 season, Lee’s answer to that question is a collection that is extremely chic and sophisticated, a tad sporty, a tad futuristic, and undoubtedly self-referential. This was especially so with the accessories. Taking his biggest hits from Fall and reworking them as new, equally-desirable iterations, Lee obviously knows what works. See, for example, the aforementioned Pouch which is now quilted in optic white leather; the Daisy bag, given a new finish that resembles marbled wood; the asymmetric mesh pumps with wraparound ankle chains (a twist on the super hot square-toed mesh pumps, which featured similar but more delicate chain detailing, that dominated Instagram the last few months).

In terms of ready-to-wear, Lee is likewise unafraid to repeat previous themes, expanding on the futuristic sensibility that characterised his aesthetic (and seen especially in his most recent campaigns for the brand). His knitwear avoids the oft-associated connotations of cozyness and warmth; instead offering a strong sensuality that is at the same time soft and modest: slinky, body-conscious dresses are constructed with unique decolletage-baring necklines, and twisted and cut out to reveal skin in the most unexpected places, which still remain office-appropriate with their longer sleeves and hemlines. In some instances, Lee juxtaposes these knits with casual, baggy leather basketball shorts, offering a chic atheleisure as a proposition for summerwear.


As models strutted down the runway which resembled the house’s signature intrecciato weave, there was also the sense of something new. Shirting, which gave way to office-ready knitwear last season, was more present this time, espousing Lee’s sporty-sensuality through the use of lightweight materials like cotton and denim, and through the addition of cinched waists and wider sleeves. Hobo bags were given a novel lease of life, slung insouciantly across the body and rendered in oversized, playful proportions. Outerwear too, merged closer to real life: less padded and clunky than previously, trenches and jackets allowed for fluidity and movement needed for everyday wearability.

Lee seems privy to the recipe for success – one that combines both Bottega’s signature codes and his own mode of sporty-sophistication into one singular vision, a vision that has entirely transformed the face of the brand and its standing in a mere matter of a few months. In recasting previous favourites and upping the ante further with the unexpected, the SS20 show was an extremely strong showing, a strength that would highly likely be carried into sales. Bottega Veneta has got us all perked up and ready in anticipation, we can’t wait for what lies ahead.

by Kay Ean Leong