It was a fresh start for Tomas Maier's Bottega Veneta this S/S. The designer broke with his tradition of impeccably structured tailoring, instead opting to explore the potentialities of the humble pullover. It was the easy universality of the garment that intrigued him – its ability to transcend country, age and style.
The universality may have imprinted more than Maier intended, as the stand out theme from the collection turned out to be foreign travel, not fabric jumpers. Escapism was central – from the crooning soundtrack of Harry Nilsson’s Everybody’s Talking At Me to the trek-ready desert boots and baja hoodies. Maybe Maier’s become caught up in On The Road fever, his items certainly had a youthful ease about them, suggestive of young men packing up and running free, ready for an adventure. The collection could be summarised by one look in particular, the best in my opinion, a perfectly tailored suit customised with a large oily stain on the jacket, suggesting that the wearer had just been off changing a tyre or tampering with the engine of his dusty car. This garment showed off Maier’s classic eye for cut, reworked with a fresher, fun vision.
The rest of his collection had a largely seventies vibe, partly due to the palette of chocolaty browns, easy blues and rain-day greys. Materials were similarly understated and easy, including fluid cotton jersey and some borrowed womenswear stapes such as silk chiffon, organza and silk crepe de chin. Shapes drew on traditional international styles, evident in some eye-catching Pocahontas fringed moccasin booties. But, as always with Maier, judgement prevailed and he was careful not to push his references too far. The retro looks were balanced by a hefty amount of covetable product including slouchy leather bags that are sure to sell well.
All in all it was a strong showing – well put together and well styled. Of course, it’s unlikely that any of these ‘universal’ items will ever actually be worn by worldly travellers or wannabe Dean Moriartys ready to cross the dessert, but rather by the plush international jet set keen to cut a dash around their hometown. Either way, it’s still a good look.