miss céline? the new bottega veneta campaign will ease your pain

Grab your heels and top-up your all-over tan as we share the Tyrone Lebon shot debut campaign from Daniel Lee, the ex-Céline designer revitalising Bottega Veneta.

by Steve Salter
|
28 January 2019, 3:04pm

Is the new Bottega Veneta the Old Céline?” asked i-D’s Associate Fashion Features Editor Osman Ahmed following the release of Phoebe Philo-protege Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta debut. The British-born, 32-year-old, former director of ready-to-wear at Celine’s impressive CV includes aesthetic shaping experience at Maison Margiela, Balenciaga and Donna Karan but it’s his seven years at the Paris-based house that Phoebe Philo renovated, so chicly, that was the key talking point in reviews across the internet. Understandable so. Against the backdrop of Hedi Slimane’s accent-free, silhouette-shifting, sharp-suited Celine revolution, swathes of women and more than a few men were suffering from PPSD (Post-Philo Stress Disorder) and they needed a fresh hit of the discrete-chic, thoughtfully-designed, ugly-yet-elegant aesthetic and Bottega Veneta pre-fall provided it -- but it wasn’t “Old Celine”, it was New Bottega Veneta, sensual, streamlined, and seductively simple. For his first campaign -- and just weeks away from his debut catwalk show during Milan Fashion Week -- Lee seduces us all further by applying the cheekily candid, sun-soaked lens of Tyrone Lebon over his new dawn at Bottega Veneta.

Tan Bottega Veneta heels, nude model

The Philophiles among you will know that the London-born photographer and filmmaker is the only creative commissioned by Phoebe Philo to shoot a Céline campaign -- Resort 2015 -- other than Juergen Teller, so the “Old Céline” comparisons will inevitably continue to build before Lee’s Bottega Veneta catwalk debut next month. Of course, Daria Werbowy, the star of Céline Resort 2015, would be perfectly at home amongst the cross-generational cast of models shot in and around a private house on the Neapolitan island of Ischia. However, viewed in isolation of this nostalgic longing for, the Lebon-shot campaign’s natural, unselfconscious images perfectly capture the new spirit that is pulsing through the Vicenza-born luxury house and remind us just what Bottega Veneta is and can be.

From a bare back to a bag in Intrecciato (the house's signature weaved leather), a figure weaving through water to a woman wrapped in a calf trench-coat, there’s an affinity found between Bottega Veneta’s hallmark material, leather, and the skin of the body. Also, the campaign perfectly builds on his debut presentation back in December that displayed products as objects -- with clothing on racks and accessories on plinths dotted around the Le Cavallerizze space at The National Museum of Science and Technology -- as fashion is stripped to its purest form, laying out the essential elements of Bottega Veneta: a fine knit, a coat, the Intrecciato leather. These are the foundations that Lee will build upon.

A world away from the fanfare that has surrounded recent high profile artistic director debuts and follow-ups -- Hedi at Celine, Kim at Dior, Virgil at LV -- there’s a soft-power movement pushing Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta. It’s refreshing and perfectly pitched for a luxury house famed for its discretion, quality, and craftsmanship. Consider the appetite of PPSD sufferers and new Bottega Veneta fans alike whet for what Daniel Lee will present next month during Milan Fashion Week.

Bottega Veneta menswear
Bottega Veneta spring 2019 campaign
Bottega Veneta model sitting in chair.