Time – indefinable and transient, the ultimate in luxury. Bottega Veneta’s Spring 2019 campaign, the first executed under the Creative Direction of Daniel Lee, focuses on that notion. The result is, paradoxically, timeless – an examination of the codes and heritage of Bottega Veneta, on what it represents in the fashion landscape of today. It is a palate cleanser, a reset of our perception, a reestablishing of identity for now.
Photographed by Tyrone LeBon, these natural, unself-conscious pictures seem like fragments of a larger narrative, as if scenes captured from a film. Influenced by Italian neorealist cinema – and the way of life those films reflect – each image encapsulates and cements a different character, a persona, that represents a facet of Lee’s vision for the house.
The cast of men and women spans generations and diverse backgrounds, giving the images a universality – an Italian spirit, with a global relevance. United here, they form a new community, a family. Juxtapositions explore not dichotomy, but their interrelation. There is an affinity found between Bottega Veneta’s hallmark material, leather, and the skin of the body – a bare back, a bag in intrecciato, a figure weaving through water, a woman wrapped in a calf trench-coat.
Recorded over several days in a private house on the Neapolitan island of Ischia, these images are dynamic, essential and free. They have a quiet confidence. Fashion is stripped to its purest form, laying out the essential elements of Bottega Veneta: a fine knit, a coat, the intrecciato leather. Incidental, almost, the clothes and accessories become part of a whole – part of the context, part of a life. Expressing a sense of intimacy, a heightened reality, these images delineate the spirit of Bottega Veneta.