Take a hike, says Tomas Maier for S/S 16. Continuing his exploration of the effortless elegance of clothes that have been worn and lived in, the Bottega Veneta creative director eschewed city chic in favour of walking gear and camping wear. Don’t fret, the Bottega Veneta elegance was still there - this was still classic Maier rather than Millets. He was dreaming of natural surroundings. Sounds basic, but in an age where people pay hundreds, nay thousands, for wilderness retreats, Instagram pictures of their green juices and brag about ‘detox’ weekends, a little nod to a good healthy life feels right for a luxury brand. Because the Bottega shopper is exactly the kind of man who has time and money to treat his body like a temple. Indeed, to many men like him, the country and nature have become more aspirational than hectic city living. This collection was all about fetishising recuperation and clean living - think of it as an extension of the current healthy eating craze. Indeed, the show notes directly mentioned ‘spiritual rest’ - was this a fashion show or an ad for a yoga retreat?
The clothes mimicked the colours of the great outdoors - stone, sand, grass green. Similarly the usual slick woven goods were replaced with soft leather and nylon backpacks and duffle bags, ideal for lugging around protein balls and kale supplies. While there’s a certain irony to seeing a run of Bottega hoodies - arguably one of the only remaining politicised garments after the leather jacket became a staple, hoodies are currently facing a ban in public if Oklahoma Republicans get their way - it was the attention to tone and fabrication that kept this collection feeling on point. After all, the luxury shopper needs to relax, and dressing patterns are getting more relaxed by the day. Who wouldn’t want some down time in some corduroy suede pull on trackies or a cosy merino sweater? To keep things from feeling stale or serious, Maier had thrown in some naughty details - trousers that laced up the front, for example. They suggested he’d been more inspired by the idea and romance of the life in the great outdoors than the realities of rural living. But then, isn’t the excitement for a holiday or break always better than the actual event? If anyone could package up that feeling they’d make a killing, and Maier did a good job of trying.