“Elegance Is Resilience”: Kate Moss Dresses For The Apocalypse At Bottega Veneta

On the penultimate day of Milan Fashion Week, Vogue editors proceeded from the vroom-vroom of Ferrari to the va-va-voom of Dolce & Gabbana, feathered fetishwear at Ferragamo to wig-like wallets at Jil Sander. Capping off proceedings? Matthieu Blazy’s Bottega Veneta, which saw the creative director fill his show venue with towering, flowering cacti rendered in Murano glass – an appropriate choice, given that the autumn/winter 2024 collections in Milan have been something of a desert, celebrity-wise.

This season’s collection was centred on the notion of “honesty in materiality and silhouette”.

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Yet another reason for the fashion industry to be grateful for the existence of Kate Moss, then, who slipped into the front row to take in Blazy’s latest offering and give the assembled paparazzi a sense of purpose. In the venue on Via Orobia – which was suffused with a nuclear orange glow and filled with the sound of piped-in dialogue from 1956’s Earth versus The Flying Saucers – the waif turned wellness mogul perched in an oversized peacoat and thigh-grazing leather boots that rendered trousers superfluous.

Kate has given Blazy’s Bottega Veneta the supermodel seal of approval before, of course, taking a turn on the runway for the creative director’s sophomore season at the house in a plaid shirt and loose jeans that were, in fact, printed leather, later starring in the label’s spring/summer 2023 campaign, which was conceived in collaboration with Italian architect Gaetano Pesce.

The palette was inspired by the colours of night and fire.

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As it turns out, Blazy has had a lifelong obsession with Kate – admittedly, something that could be said of most designers, but is especially true of the 39-year-old. “Collecting her pictures became a hobby that became a sort of education,” he told Vogue of her influence on his career path after publishing a Moss monograph through his label. “I discovered photographers, designers and fashion through her… There’s an alchemy that happens with anything she wears, [it] becomes elevated and cool.”

Kate modelling a fashion illusion on the Bottega Veneta runway for spring/summer 2023.

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If the look Kate wore on the spring/summer 2023 catwalk was designed to trick the eye, this season marked a shift in the Bottega Veneta aesthetic, with the collection dedicated to “visual simplicity”: “There is… a pragmatism in power-shouldered knits; truthfulness in cotton calico shirting; comfort and protection in supple leather,” read the designer’s show notes.

Among this season’s motifs: snakes, flames and flowers.

Filippo Fior / Gorunway.com

Thematically, Blazy hoped the clothes – and the surrounding cacti – would function as a symbol of hope. “In a world on fire, there is something very human in the simple act of dressing,” the notes continue. “We all watch the same news. It is hard to be celebratory at this point. Still, the idea of rebirth is beautiful, too. These are the flowers that bloom after the earth is burnt – they give a sense of hope. They come back stronger than ever. Here, elegance is resilience.”

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