After the show, the designer reflected on how – unlike so many designers now - he has continued to work long-term for one house. ‘It's not easy. It's hard. But like a marriage, if you want to make it work, you make it work. There are really very few houses that are a natural fit if you are a designer. To find that fit is rare. But when it works, it works. Look at Karl and Chanel.'
At the end of the show, all of the design technicians from the workshops came out with him. One of his reasons for moving the show venue for this anniversary show was so that everyone within his atelier could actually sit and watch the show. ‘I wanted a front row seat for them, second row at the very least. No standing or anything like that for them. Bottega Veneta is about its craftspeople.’
The show opened with Bjork's 'Violently Happy', a hedonistic counterpoint to a brand who has owned the quiet luxury brand movement. But one that expressed the emotion that ran through the show. Maier's love for fabric technology saw Bottega Veneta continue to invent some incredible in house fabrics this season. A copper coloured trench and a metal bonded linen skirt were both stand out pieces.
For all of Milan's current hype and opulence, Bottega Veneta stands away - and above - them all. The right side of artsy, its woman is graceful like no other. For this show, the waistline and full skirt was again the go-to shorthand for his elegant, intelligent woman. His woman - though top of the economic food chain - is truly of all ages, place and time. Taking about his casting for the show he talked about how he considers the now mid 40s Eva Herzigova to be an important component of this anniversary show. He also brought up racial representation, saying ‘today I showed people of many races and colour, I always have. It's important to show that beauty is everywhere.' It was great to see two red haired male models walk within the same section as beautiful black women and beautiful blondes.
This show was also the first time the label presented menswear and womenswear together, which is something he said he 'intends to keep doing for the future.'
The show received a standing ovation. It deserved it with or without said anniversary celebration. The meandering colour palette and the way each section delicately shifted tones was sublime - he surely is the best colourist in the industry. Like the fabrics, the colours are all created in house. Nothing is standard here.
The arrival of Lauren Hutton mid-show was a huge crowd pleaser. She looked stunning., holding the vintage Bottega Veneta Intricattio clutch she wore in American Gigilo. Maiers talked afterwards about the importance of building the archive, saying the house didn't really have one until he arrived. With a wry smile, he added 'of course, the clutch will be available to buy in store in S/S 17.'