Why British designer Daniel Lee’s appointment at Bottega Veneta is very exciting

Just 48 hours after Creative Director Tomas Maier announced he was stepping down after 17 years at the helm of Bottega Veneta, the company has announced British designer Daniel Lee is set to take over on July 1st.  Although relatively unknown outside of the fashion industry, 32 yr old Lee, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, has so far worked along side some of the most outstanding current brands today.  After putting in stints at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga & Donna Karen, the designer most recently was Director of Ready-to-Wear at Céline were he began in 2012.
Following Phoebe Philo’s departure late last year, and the appointment of Hedi Slimane, who is tearing the house apart to continue in his inimitable style, Lee would have been out of a job.  Meanwhile Kerring, the luxury conglomerate that owns Bottega Veneta, have been appointing some shrewd Creative Directors within its houses in recent years, most notably Alessandro Michele at Gucci & Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga.  And after quite public fraught tension with Hedi at Saint Laurent, employing Lee from Céline will go some way to keeping the minimalist understated style of Céline alive once Hedi turns the brand on its head, and bring some fresh vitality to Bottega Veneta in the same way both Michele & Gvasalia have to their houses.  “Daniel Lee has a deep understanding of the house’s current challenges both in terms of creation and development.” said Claus Dietrich Lahrs, CEO of Bottega Veneta. “He will bring to Bottega Veneta a new and distinctive creative language that will continue building the house’s success based on the ambitious foundations already developed over recent years.”
Former Creative Director Tomas Maier has laid the foundations for the house in the past 17 years but recent years have seen a steady decline in profits.  Maier was known for his strict detailing and rejected out-and-out branding for a more subtle approach.  
“I’m both honored and excited to continue the legacy that has been created at Bottega Veneta over the last five decades,” said Lee. “Maintaining the ingrained codes of the House, craftsmanship, quality and sophistication, I look forward to evolving what has gone before, while contributing a new perspective and modernity.”  Daniel will start at Bottega Veneta in July with his first collection in September. 
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Daniel Lee – Creative Director Bottega Veneta

 

Gucci pays homage to Bjork in Gucci Garden exhibition

As the first night of Pitti Uomo got under way, Gucci revealed three new hall spaces in its Gucci Garden space in Florence, two of which pay tribute to singer Bjork.  Creative director Alessandro Michele collaborated with Bjork last year when he designed unique pieces for the musicians music video ‘The Gate’.   The outfits and masks from the video will be on show as well as the special custom gown, which took approximately 555 hours to create and a further 320 hours for the intricate embroidery work.  The moulded masks, designed by James Merry, another organza dress and the Gucci shoes will also be on show, alongside various books and artefacts on the singer and her home country of Iceland.  
The third room will be occupied by 23 year old British artist Isabella Cotier, who has collaborated on a Gucci Garden exclusive of T shirts, Hoodies, Sweatpants and Totes, all emblazoned with Cotier’s colourful illustrations depicting eccentric Florentine characters in prominent places around the city.  The collaboration with Cotier follows the collection of clothing, porcelain mugs and candle holders the brand developed with Jayde Fish.
Gucci Garden, Piazza della Signoria, 10, 50122 Firenze, Florence. 

A-COLD-WALL* London SS19. Samual Ross proves a powerhouse for streetwear

At the forefront of London street culture & at the zeitgeist of the British working class, Samual Ross’s A-Cold-Wall* put on his most accomplished show to date on Sunday in East London’s Old Truman Brewery, his first after previous seasons of showing at the BFC space.  The viewers, on entering the space, were each given a vacuum pack of safety goggles, ear plugs and a ventilation mask.  The show began with a group of models wearing full clay covered grey garments and their faces painted grey slowly moving in unison throughout the space, the group appearing throughout the show to guard the clothing models with metal rods.  The show was named ‘Human. Form. Structure.’ with the three concepts examined throughout the show.  The clothes ranged from structured jackets to cargo shorts, bright yellow, oxblood and grey in colour with flashes of colourful metallic details in crimson.  The trousers loose fitting with padding above the knee.  The show ended with the grey group of models breaking down a structured wall that had been brought onto the runway, followed by a lonely figure in red paint pushing the structure away.  
In attendance was Ross’s old mentor Virgil Abloh, with whom he had worked as an intern, then moved on to be his right hand assistant and consultant.  On working with Abloh, Ross recently told Vogue UK “It’s funny because I can look at it from a few angles — as someone who has been a part of his journey, someone who looks at him as a mentor, someone and who is a person of colour in this industry,” he says. “He articulates the information of our time and he has worked incredibly hard consistently for over a decade, and most of that was behind-the-scenes, without public acknowledgement.”  This has given Ross the insight and ability to ensure the designer does not become isolated form the consumer, a drive in many current successful streetwear labels.
A-Cold-Wall* refers to the idea of feeling a cold surface as a common social denominator — an Edwardian marble colonnade and council estate scaffolding evoking the same sensation for two different social groups. “It’s really about presenting conceptual ideas at a digestible level,” he says, referencing the bright synthetics of construction sites and council estates, as well as contemporary working class subcultures.
The full A-Cold-Wall* SS19 show below

Hedi at Céline set to adopt the ‘Drop Style’ retail strategy in dramatic revamp

New Artistic, Creative & Image Director of Céline, Hedi Slimane, has spoken to Business of Fashion of his plans to introduce the ‘drop’ method when releasing parts of his new collection.  The retail strategy is commonly used by highly sought after streetwear labels such as Supreme and includes releasing small portions of his collection every week or so to coincide with his main collection for the brand.  The new strategy was revealed in an interview with Business of Fashion which also revealed plans for pop-up stores and small capsules to feature Slimane’s season-less staples such as jeans and casual wear.
Slimane has already announced Célene will be moving into menswear as well as producing fragrances and couture.  He is also set to remodel each and every one of the Céline retail stores and owners LVMH are also rumoured to be buying up large retail space in New Yorks upper East side.  Business of Fashion notes that although Slimane is very respectful of the brand he doesn’t feel beholden to the minimalist casual luxury vibe created—and beloved among the label’s loyal customers—by former Céline designer Phoebe Philo.  If you were into the rockstar look Slimane began at his tenure at Dior Homme and then continued at Saint Laurent, chances are you’ll be quite happy with this new version of Céline. “He is doing exactly what he was hired to do, bringing his own vision to the brand,” the BoF report reads.  It is still unknown what Phoebe Philo is set to do next but this will certainly be the end of Phoebe’s Céline and her simple aesthetic praised for being a brand that was instantly recognisable without having to shout. 

Helmut Lang takes on Tinder in 90’s Dating Ad Campaign

To launch the new Pre-Fall 2018 line, Helmut Lang has gone to Instagram to unveil its 90’s aesthetic dating show campaign.  New Editor-in-residence Alix Browne and Langs digital editor Ava Nirui have called on 12 single models living in New York to create a dating profile with details about themselves and what they are looking for in a relationship, whilst having there profile pictures of them wearing Helmut Lang.  Each models profile has a caption urging people to email love@helmutlang.com if they would like to connect with them – with applicants actually being put in touch with the models if a suitable match is found.  The images are rendered in a hazy, 90’s VHS quality and the models have been styled by Anna Santangelo. “I’ve always been super obsessed with the unique verbiage that goes with personal ads.” Ava Nirui told Vogue, “I recently had a realization that I’m constantly matchmaking friends and thought it would be fun to invite these friends (and friends of friends) to be a part of the Helmut Lang community, while potentially helping them find love in their lives.”  The campaign gives many nods to early 90’s Helmut Lang, from its original on-line legacy to its successful print campaigns.  Langs new Editor-inresidence Alix Browne took over in January and is the founding editor of V Magazine and former features editor of W Magazine.
Helmut Lang instagram campaign
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Alix Browne – Editor-in-Residence, Helmut Lang

 

‘B Classic’ Burberry tease from Riccardo Tisci

Following his appointment at the luxury British fashion house, the anticipation for Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for Burberry has been one of excitement to say the least.  So with him already working on his debut collection, Tisci has released a teaser of things to come on his instagram account from the pre collection called ‘B Classic’.  The collection is a celebration of Burberry through a carefully selected edit of the iconic pieces synonymous with the brand: the trench coat, the quilted jacket the poncho and the kilt.  Of the collection Tisci said “I wanted to celebrate the beauty, heritage and legacy that I discovered when I first arrived at Burberry.  ‘B Classic’ is an edit that I’ve curated to honour the icons of the House – pieces like the trench coat, the quilted jacket, the car coat, the kilt – which sits at the heart of the SS19 pre collection designed by the fantastic Burberry design team.”  Tisci took over from Christopher Bailey in March of this year with one standout line from Burberry’s announcement notes that Tisci’s “skill in blending streetwear with high fashion is highly relevant to today’s luxury, Riccardo’s creative vision will reinforce the ambitions we have for Burberry and position the brand firmly in luxury”.  Riccardo Tisci will reveal his full collection for the brand in September 2018.  
See Riccardo’s teaser on his Instagram account Here
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Riccardo Tisci – Designer