Matthieu Blazy is the real deal. It can be hard to experience a sensational debut, but he did it, and then some at Bottega Veneta tonight. To start, he created a fabulous scene by enlisting 82-year-old Italian design pioneer Gaetano Pesce to create a site-specific installation that included a colorful, swirling cast resin floor and 400 unique chairs. As the crowd filled the space, it felt like a real stage. Cicciolina walked around, Erykah Badu posed for photos, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee chatted with friends, and Pesce soaked it all up from the front row.
Unique is the key word here. Behind the scenes, Blazy said, “The collection started with meeting Gaetano. I often went to visit him in New York and we talked a lot about diversity. He worked on his side and I worked from mine and we did a juxtaposition. The idea was ‘the world in a little room.’ We went all out,” he continued. “The idea was to portray different characters and put them in Gaetano’s landscape.”
In clearer terms, what Blazy seemed to mean was the wardrobe concept. Her ambition is not to dress celebrities on the red carpet, although celebrities will surely come. Nor is it to enter the major haute couture shows, although that is also a future possibility. What Blazy wants to do is dress his customers for every occasion, and aren’t we luckier?
Picking up the thread from last season, the opening looks, while resembling denim, flannel and cotton t-shirts, were all leather. Modeled by Kate Moss herself, a flannel shirt required 12 layers of prints to achieve the depth of color Blazy sought. “It’s that kind of casual comfort and we take it to the extreme and call it perverted banality,” he said.
Blazy also revisited the “dynamic” silhouette he established last season, exaggerating the sense of movement in clothing by adding what could be described as fins to the back of the pant legs. Likewise, the storm flaps of the trench coats seemed to have caught a breeze and stayed there. Curved funnel necklines on jackets and shirts gave them a clean profile. These are subtle details, but if incomprehensible to the uninitiated, they mean a lot to fashion obsessives who are watching for such changes. Blazy has these people’s attention.
This was a very purposeful collection, a reminder in a Milan Fashion Week that included shaky beginnings of the importance of experience. Blazy has plenty of that, and it shows in every aspect of this collection, including the jacquard dresses and separate pieces – “very technical,” he said, “but the results are not technical, they’re emotional” — and in the Pesce-inspired colorway-inspired fringed finale dress trio. “It’s a new technique where you weave with fringes integrated into the fabric and they are all knitted by hand. It’s also very technical,” he laughed. About these distinctive Pesce chairs, they will be sold at Design Miami. We inquired about the price and were quoted low five figures. It’s not officially official, but now you know.