Matthieu Blazy’s (Instagram) SS24 collection for Bottega Veneta transcends the ordinary, embracing a personal journey of fashion exploration. With influences drawn from around the globe, the collection expands from the creative’s Italian trilogy to a sweeping array of references and inspirations – both natural and human-made. From commuter tailoring to knitted swimwear, from fringed coats to pom-pom dresses, the collection celebrates the joy of dressing up and the freedom to be whoever and whatever one desires, whether in your imagination or in the world.
The SS24 campaign, a surreal juxtaposition of setting and scene, brings this spirit of discovery and adventure to life. Shot against the backdrop of playgrounds scattered across Tokyo by Magnum photographer Alec Soth (Instagram), the campaign exudes energy, imagination, and play. The playgrounds serve as the perfect canvas for this playful exploration, reflecting the whimsical nature of Blazy’s designs. Here, statuesque and elegant models find themselves in contrasting childhood settings, their relaxed everyday poses – drinking coffee, eating a sandwich – making the campaign approachable yet aspirational.
Blazy describes the campaign as “An Odyssey: a journey that is both free and hopeful.” Indeed, the choice of playgrounds as the backdrop for the campaign is symbolic of the freedom, joy, and experimentation inherent in his designs. “They’re places where you can invent your own adventures, take risks, experience yourself in different ways,” he says.
Amid the everyday playground of dreams, mushrooms, pandas, and octopuses create a dreamlike backdrop, embodying Blazy’s boundless vision. The diverse casting, curated by Anita Elizabeth Bitton, ensures a dynamic lineup of models including Diane Chiu, Walid Fiher, Imaan Hammam, Lara Menezes, Awar Odhiang, Douta Sidibe, Penelope Ternes, Daisuke Ueda, Kris Wardak, Haojie Qi, Shun Yoshida, and Li Cheng Yuan. With hair by Duffy (Instagram) and makeup by Hiromi Ueda (Instagram), every detail of the campaign reflects the brand’s concept for the collection.
Soth, reflecting on his collaboration with Blazy, remarks, “When I encounter Matthieu’s work, I am in two worlds simultaneously.” In these shoots, Soth eloquently captures the essence of the director’s designs as a fusion of the tangible and the ethereal, the physical and the fantastical. Through his lens, Soth seeks to evoke the same sense of playfulness and wonder that permeates Blazy’s creations, inviting viewers to embark on a journey of imagination and self-discovery.
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