You may have noticed that Bottega Veneta’s name was conspicuously missing from the lineup at the recently-concluded Milan Digital Fashion Week. As it turns out, that’s because creative director Daniel Lee had another ace up his sleeve. To wit, an intriguing new short film, created in tandem with photographer and filmmaker (and frequent collaborator) Tyrone Lebon.
Titled Bottega Veneta: Men, the thought-provoking eight-minute film takes on the simple — or not so simple — question of, “What makes a man?” Exploring and subverting concepts such as masculinity and gender, the answers come in the form of intimate interviews with individuals from all stages of life and walks of the arts, including rapper Octavian, actor Barry Keoghan, director Dick Jewell, ballet dancer Roberto Bolle, painter George Rouy, musician Neneh Cherry and more.
Catching them in the act of dressing and undressing (in designs from past and present Bottega collections), the camera zooms in and out on these muses and their shifting body language as they share their perspectives on the narrative of manhood, personal and societal expectations, and the connection between clothing and identity.
“I think I’ve always written from a woman’s perspective,” declares pioneering trip-hop musician Tricky as he shrugs on first a leather trench coat, then a shockingly pink nylon windbreaker. “I just wear whatever I want. I was wearing dresses when I was 15 [and] Dr. Martens boots.” Clad in oversized denim overalls and a matching jacket, artist Obongjayar explains, “You have to dress a certain way, keep your hair a certain way, talk a certain way… I was trying to do stuff that wasn’t necessarily me. What is me? It’s like finding out what your thing is, and then doing it.”