Bottega Veneta’s Spring 2023 fashion show, which took place in Milan on Saturday, doubled as an exhibition of furniture by Gaetano Pesce, the radical Italian designer who, after six decades of diligent creation of conceptual work, now finds even greater public appeal. The 82-year-old designer, known for his resin chairs that look like paste stained glassdripping silicone vesselsand one $60,000 lounge chair in the shape of a giant foot, was commissioned to create “a world in a small room” by Bottega Veneta’s new creative director, Matthieu Blazy. For the show, Pesce created a resin-coated floor that resembles a giant blue swimming pool with a rainbow-sherbet gradient track running through the middle, surrounded by 400 quirky resin-coated chairs with a similar melting, gloopy aesthetic. .
For Pesce, the installation was “a tribute to diversity”, as he Told Dezeen. “People who say we’re all the same, fuck them!” The uniqueness of each chair was a literal take on the theme, and some showed the marks of Pesce’s hand, including those adorned with slightly deranged smiling faces. Others had hand-drawn question marks, suns, and other illustrations; all feature a “Gaetano Pesce for Bottega Veneta” label on the back. The ensemble completed a fashion show that also celebrated individualistic looks. “The idea was to represent different characters and put them in the landscape of Gaetano”, blazy said vogue. The models – who wore brown leather dresses, moss green jumpsuits, abstract patterned suits with beaded fringe, and white slip dresses – were dressed as uniquely as Pesce’s vibrant universe. The designer, after all these years, remains true to his mission to bring “incoherence” into the world through handmade furniture and objects that are all one of a kind – a referendum against mass-produced and industrially produced products and the consumerism they fuel. Most fashion show sets are disposable and wear off faster than a quick fashion cycle. But this one will live: each of the chairs will be sold at Design Miami in November.