Milan Fashion Week: Bottega Veneta autumn/winter 2012 Covered-up control at Tomas Maier's Bottega Veneta autumn/winter 2012 collection, says Luke Leitch
Tomas Maier's Bottega Veneta is the most fastidious of Milan fashion houses, rigorous in everything from the perfect symmetry of its trademark thick-knit Intrecciato leather bags, to the edict that its assistants prepare the catwalk wearing socks so as not to sully its perfect whiteness.
Next winter's collection maintained that rigour in the utterly precise tailoring of its dark, masculine wool jackets with matte horizontal swooshes on the hip. An often black or drably-dark collection of dresses with only subtle decorative detailing - a restrained ruffle here, a pearly flash there - undulated precisely around the bodies inside them. Mary-Janes and shoe-boots were worn over calf-socks pulled up to the same half-way point between knee and ankle where trousers ended. When there was ostentation, it was strictly disciplined - a velvet floral dress seemed to have been treated to suck the vibrancy from its palette. The one more playful moment was a joey-pouch front-only peplum. More muted than last season's wonderful riot of a collection, next winter's Bottega woman is one of utterly elegant severity.