Bottega Veneta continues to elicit questionable emotions from me. The latest Spring collection reminds me that Tomas Maier is a designer who can surprise the viewer as well as reassure them that he will always be who he has been.
What came to mind here is that Mr. Maier can force a fabric to do unnatural things and in doing so, he shows us that he is indeed a master technician and well, just a man who won’t take no for an answer. Case in point is the opening with seemingly stiff cottons showing off their inherent strengths and weaknesses; that is to say they don’t necessarily drape softly and they done lay close to the body. The overall effect is somewhat repellant and at the same time appealing.
There was a point in the show that when the embroidered/decorated pieces appeared that one couldn’t help but think this is what Prada might look like if Ms. Prada wasn’t so keen on making women look like fools. The Bottega grouping is soft, feminine and somewhat appealing even if not my cup of tea.
Spring is the most difficult of seasons as one never quite knows what to show anymore. Given its delivery schedule, one might show “wear now” clothes which in essence would be more winter like clothes or do you show real Spring/Summer clothes to be worn in the more distant future? Mr. Maier has opted for the latter and while the designs are more out of character than usual, he shows an ease in shape and a more relaxed attitude. The hemline is something that is just abrasive to me but that’s me and from what I can gather, women find it appealing.
Back to the uncharacteristic side of the collection which shows itself in the layers and ruffles and ruffle like effects he employs in many of the styles. The collection retains its artisanal aura yet floats over the border to the more constructed and contrived... if you catch my drift here! This is a much more “decorous” Bottega Veneta.
So, the question is … like it, love it or leave it? I’m definitely in like here because I am intrigued by it.
PS. The wrap/surplice kimono sleeve blouse that shows early on is a major winner and gets the most props for its easy chic qualities! And I hope you never have to dry clean these clothes as they will never survive.