Bottega Veneta’s Trompe L’oeil Leathers Are Luxury Basics Gone Wild

In a world where YEEZY GAP and ESSENTIALS epitomize most folks’ perception of “luxury basics,” Bottega Veneta’s leather shirts, tank tops, and “denim” jeans are explosive. They’re the physical manifestation of creative director Matthieu Blazy’s #NewNewBottega vision, they update the house’s humble artisan codes, and, frankly, they’re just damn cool.

First seen in Blazy’s debut Bottega Veneta collection for Winter 2022 and most recently starring in Bottega’s accompanying campaign, the trompe l’oeil leathers have become as close to It Garments as anything else in the Bottega lineup, not including the requisite bags and shoes that Blazy is duly rolling out.

It’s canny timing: Fall/Winter 2022 is the season that reinvents the tank top and dives deeper into all-leather everything. Skirts, boilersuits, blazers: we’re collectively swapping latex layers for luscious leather.

Blazy’s printed leather garments go beyond the pale. They’re made of touchably plush lambskin and calfskin akin to the usual luxury leatherwear but their deceptive appearance is what make them great.

Printed to resemble a classic pinstriped shirt, faded denim jeans, or modest white T-shirt, Bottega’s leather clothing — available now on Bottega Veneta’s web store and soon in stores alongside the Pillow Sneaker, a new chunky skate shoe — is the exact opposite of a seasonal statement piece.

While Fall/Winter 2022’s other trend-defining garments are unmissable from even a million miles away, Bottega’s leather goods look like unassuming wardrobe staples. If you peer close, you can see the zipper in the rear of the T-shirt that allows for easy access or the digitally-printed creases in the jeans that don’t quite match the wearer’s body but, otherwise, they’re chameleons.

I love it. The unpresuming presence of these $3,100 “T-shirts,” $6k “shirts,” and $7k “jeans” — the tank top will release later in 2022 — is so perfectly plain that it entirely undersells the four-figure price tags. That’s how luxury fashion used to be and, in my humble opinion, how it oughta be.

Dressing for yourself, rather than the ‘gram, engenders inwards discovery, manifesting in quiet self-assuredness and, inevitably, cooler outfits that then make you feel better. It’s the opposite of a vicious cycle: a pleasant cycle. This is what “luxury basics” should achieve.

Certainly, Bottega’s leather layers aren’t for anyone (or even most wallets) but we can still extrapolate pleasure from a distance. And then save up for Bottega’s $500 cotton tank.

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