Bottega Veneta

May 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

“I can’t show you a stretch pant and a T-shirt.” That was Tomas Maier in the Bottega Veneta showroom today, presenting the label’s Resort collection for 2015. Some designers do take a straightforward approach to in-between seasons like Resort and Pre-Fall, but Maier’s not one of them. BV’s creative director is as intrigued by process as he is by the final product, a fact that his new clothes crystalized.

He started with the idea of bleach and how laundering a garment in the stuff can fade it in random ways. Extending that notion, he used a process called corrosion to remove color from pieces in graphic patterns—bleach stripes at the neckline of a crisp cotton shirt, a white floral motif on a lilac top. Other times, the actual substance of a material was changed, as in the case of a dévoré blouse and a jacquard flower-print lamé miniskirt.

Maier’s trick was that nothing felt contrived. Industrially washed for a faded effect, his knit sweaters were utterly simple, yet completely divine. And that enviable sense of simplicity extended into his evening dresses. No ball gowns or bustiers here, of course. Maier’s long dresses are modeled after tank tops and T-shirts. The ease is built right in; the drama comes from the way he corroded and then over-dyed them. One featured a bold grid pattern, another an abstract, oversize floral. Perhaps the best part: When they go into production, no two dresses will ever be 100 percent the same. “I like that,” Maier said, “and it’s good for the customer.”
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed

Bottega Veneta

May 8, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

To produce Bottega Veneta‘s new Cruise shoes—loafers with woven-raffia uppers, brogues with raffia insets, and raffia kitten heels with leather cap toes—Tomas Maier commissioned artisans in Morocco. “We tried to do it in Italy, but…” he threw up his hands, indicating that even the skilled factories in BV’s native country didn’t know the right techniques in this particular case. To get the raffia supple enough to weave, Maier continued, it must be bathed in oil and water first. “I like being able to display that kind of know-how.”

It’s a detail worth bringing up not only because the shoes are truly fabulous but also because it illuminates the entire Bottega Veneta collection, which once more puts the emphasis on craft. Cotton poplin dresses are embroidered with raw swatches of St. Gallen lace and then block-printed, while A-line frocks are embroidered with fringe, then veiled in a sheer black material, which is further embellished with macramé and swags of silver chain. The real marvel, though, is that the results look so effortless, so exactly like what you want to wear when the weather turns hot. A pair of solid stretch-cotton dresses with only big floppy bows for adornment looked simpler in their execution, but still special.

This season’s handbag additions include ombré-dyed, soft-construction goatskin city totes and smaller Intrecciato-style bags with hand-painted edges. “No two bags are the same,” Maier said. “The client appreciates that.” Innovation seems to be the Maier way. Next month he’ll unveil a Bottega Veneta shop on Melrose Place in L.A. with an entirely new store concept; it’ll be built to resemble nothing more so than a home.
—Nicole Phelps
Runway Feed