Bottega Veneta – Pre Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear
There are a lot of ways to look at clothes. This season, Tomas Maier kept adjusting his point of view, like a movie director shifting camera angles. He started with a panorama—imagining the landscape circa mid-November, when most of this collection will be delivered to stores—and proposing bright colors as a balm for overcast, darkening days. Then he zoomed in for extreme close-ups, fastening his attention on details such as a daggered jacket collar, or the dot pattern on a patchwork-pleated skirt created via appliqué. Finally, he panned out again, to get the full-length take on the clothes he himself considers most important: As Maier explained at an appointment today, he can only confirm his impression of clothes by seeing them on a model in a mirror, the better to catch the overall effect his looks make. That’s the perspective that allows Maier to make the myriad adjustments to proportion and line and flow that give his Bottega Veneta clothes their sense of effortless specialness.
Witness, for instance, the patchwork-pleated skirts and dresses here, with their shards of black fabric that served to visually winnow the waist. Elsewhere, Maier played a similar trick with his high-waist trousers of lightweight wool gabardine, color-blocking them above the hip to give a slouchy attitude. The trousers were one silhouette in this collection’s fine range of tailoring, a theme that Maier emphasized; there were also sportier takes on masculine garb, such as trim leather bombers and track jackets pieced together from multicolor swatches of suede or the high-end activewear fabric also used in blouses and abbreviated A-line skirts. Maier’s graphic use of color was the obvious through-line, among these very varied looks. Closer inspection, meanwhile, revealed that the real continuity of this collection was to be found in the make of the clothes, with luxe transitional-weight fabrics and unlined coat construction endowing everything with a sense of movement and ease. Those tactile elements can’t be seen in a mirror. Yet somehow, they can still be seen.