Models displayed the Bottega Veneta Autumn/Winter 2012/2013 collection at Milan Womenswear Fashion Week on Saturday.
MILAN — The 36 looks that Tomas Maier showed on Saturday at Bottega Veneta seemed to fly past, and then a burst of applause.
He had a lot to say, but he said it concisely, with spare, elegant dresses and coats in black, cobalt or maroon wool. The fabrics had a matte, compacted look, but it was the fit and proportion that really stood out. The clothes had a normal sense of grace.
Like Raf Simons at Jil Sander, Mr. Maier knows how to elevate knitwear, pairing a ribbed black cashmere sweater with cropped trousers for a surprisingly polished look that was still relaxed. This exceptional show included burnt velvet dresses in a three-dimensional blur of colors, dresses and skirts with soft peplums, and velvet-paneled evening dresses.
Fashion people live for the rare occasions when a show is so good it sends an involuntary wave of emotion through their veins. At Bottega Veneta, that kind of unfakeable visceral reaction had spectators sitting forward in their seats as Tomas Maier began to send out women dressed in dark, perfectly tailored coats and suits, walking easily in flat riding boots, with gloves, pearl earrings, and a slash of burgundy lipstick to finish. And the viewers were feeling what? A kind of awed sensation of identification with that woman—someone adult, chic, and subtly powerful, emanating a deep sense of self. It was like the opening frames of a very good movie, where you’re so magnetized by a personality on screen that a kind of transference takes place: You’re wanting to be her, have her aplomb, wear her clothes, walk in her shoes.
The women kept coming, from both directions, in a fast-paced sequence crackling with energy. A peacoat, a molded-shoulder tunic and sweater were styled with big rock-crystal brooches and cropped pants in a top-to-toe look brilliantly balanced between decorativeness and pragmatic daywear. Numerous dresses went past: some in scumbled, arty prints, with sequins speckling textured embroidery in the neckline; one in beige crepe, seamed clean to the body and sliced down to a silver-bead brooch; one in velvet with a fitted bodice and a skirt of feathery layered chiffon. Still others had an air of forties Hollywood about them—one in a purplish pink with paillettes scattered at the shoulder and waist, the other in a flocked velvet leaf pattern, growing up and over nude tulle. And that’s before we expend more words describing the sinuous long dresses. One adjective will do for them: superb.
But Maier’s achievement here is the way he’s defined a glamour that isn’t entirely the stuff of unattainable fantasy. Of course, Bottega Veneta’s clothes, jewelry, and accessories are at the top of the luxury tree—and justifiably so, considering the way they’re made. But, crucially, his way of doing expensive is not offensive. That’s because his vision of a woman has a reality and relevance anyone will recognize, whether we can buy it or not. Maeir isn’t interested in tottering bourgeoisies living in a hermetic world of privilege. His view goes beyond clothes to reach a truth about women today. And that’s what touched the heart. vogue.com
The difference between polite clapping and genuine applause was as loud as ever at the end of the fall Bottega Veneta show, Tomas Maier’s best yet. Double points for efficiency — by sending out dual exits, 36 total, the show clocked in at record time. The clothes, too, exuded precision and discipline, with their lean lines and narrow fit. The first group featured tailored jackets and skirt suits cut straight, fastened in a tight line of covered buttons with neat shoulders and slightly nipped waists. Combined with a brooding palette of black, navy and maroon, Maier engaged in chic austerity that felt on the money for the season.
It was controlled but never hard, as the designer infused the look with enticing depth through rich fabrics and decoration without forcing his artsy whims, as he’s been known to do. A measured approach to statement jewelry, such as big brooches placed at the neck of wool sheaths and pendants worn with a couple of great waffled sweaters, brought the right touch of elegance to otherwise spare daywear. And for evening, velvet cocktail dresses and gowns with shredded chiffon on shoulders, peplums and tiered skirts were darkly seductive. wwd
There's been lots of talk about oversize this and exaggerated that so far this season, but Bottega Veneta's Tomas Maier is taking a different tack. "It's usually more flowy," he said in his succinct style backstage, addressing his Fall collection's new close-to-the-body shapes; its dense, opaque fabrics; and the ways in which he used print and embroidery to enhance the figure. Enhance it he did; it's still not too late to ship a black velvet bustier evening gown with Art Nouveau-style boning on the torso to L.A. for the Oscars tomorrow night.
Maier opened with strict tailoring: Coat-dresses and suits were marvels of buttoned-up precision, with graphic details at the sides and slightly padded hips that put the accent on nipped and narrowed waists—the New Look again. With the silhouette thus established, Maier touched on curvy day shifts unadorned but for large-scale brooches at the neckline, and sporty, waffle-knit sweaters tossed over peplum blouses.
What impressed about the dresses was their range. Printed numbers that riffed on ones that Maier introduced last Fall hugged the body, while others came embellished with shreds of chiffon that looked like dense layers of feathers. A pair of stretch velvet frocks, one with overlapping multicolor flowers and the other with curling black vines à la cut-paper silhouettes, had an almost naïve innocence. But ultimately elegance ruled. Maier's event dresses, which seemed to elongate their models' already exceedingly willowy frames, will get scooped up by celebrities, even if the timing isn't right for the Academy Awards. High marks all around.
jula, many thanks for posting all the eye candy. I agree with ss. The men's collections never appeal to me. I can't imagine anyone here wearing one of those color blocked suits. And to me, the overall proportions of the men's clothing look ill fitting. However, his women's line sings to me with the exception of the baggy trouser hose with heals. I love the color palette. Love, love, love the nero veneta. It looks like a matte/shiny combo.....can't wait to get more details.
We usually throw the men's and women's presentations into one thread. Bottega stopped showing their women's and menswear collection together in one show after the Spring 2006 runway. The women's A/W 2012/13 show will be in February and I will add the pics then.
jburgh will rename the thread anyway. No worries.
Yep! Made it official and included Early Fall. Thank you for starting this!