Bottega Veneta Fall-Winter 2018/19: Tomas Maier’s second last collection champions the Italian Maison’s savoir faire.
In January this year, the 52-year old Vicenzan company opened a brand new flagship store on Madison Avenue, NYC.
To celebrate this milestone, the Kering-owned fashion house took to the Big Apple to showcase its Men’s and Women’s Fall/Winter 2018 collections at New York Fashion Week.
Designed by Creative Director Tomas Maier, who recently announced his resignation in June, the collection was presented at a spatial venue – boasting high ceilings and zero columns – within the New York Stock Exchange building.
From Milan To Manhattan
“New Yorkers have a real bravery and boldness,” offered Maier in an online statement. “I was thinking about the way of life in the city, which goes from one extreme to another… It’s a hyper-motion and then it falls into almost total seclusion,” mused the 61-year old, German-born designer.
These insightful notions became the building blocks of Maier’s modern, wearable collection – he produced a diverse wardrobe of elegant day-to-night pieces, in addition to a capsule of loungewear-inspired styles that supported the “seclusion” sentiments he was on about.
The latter narrative naturally referred to Maier’s idea of the savvy New Yorker lifestyle, namely going from being active about town one moment and then – perhaps – retreating to the comfort of a swanky Manhattan high-rise home the next.
The chic outfit to be seen wearing while living this high life? Maier’s effortlessly cool pajamas and robe coats/dresses, designed to look as good indoors as they would when worn out – but, of course.
Maier’s industrial-themed stage set (designed by Scott Pask) reflected this Manhattan-living storyboard appropriately, too. Models paraded a U-shaped runway, which was built on a raised platform to surround an apartment-style set-up. Echoing a Milan-meets-New York City interior design vibe, the set-up was furnished with fixtures and fittings that were culled from vintage collections and not to mention, Bottega Veneta’s furniture collection, too.
The spirit of the Brutalist-inspired décor/architecture paid a little homage to the Madison Avenue flagship as well. Explained Maier: “The Maison is inspired by the city in which it’s located, but it’s filled with Italian-made products and even Italian art.”
The Art Of Fashion
With the box on Uptown living checked, all that was left to really reinforce the Maison’s motto (“When your own initials are enough”) were Maier’s ready-to-wear creations.
Helming the label for 17 years, the discerning designer has become more than familiar with Maison’s high-brow and discerning maxim. Not only has Maier played an astute role in renewing the House’s codes, but also refined them by championing his own style ambitions to match the label’s renowned artisanal prowess.
Maier’s love for art and design has also influenced the shaping of many Bottega Veneta ready-to-wear collections he has created. In fact, one of the fundamental themes for the Fall/Winter 2018-19 offering, apart from architecture, was the genre of art as well.
It’s Hip To Be Square
The cube was a recurring motif Maier used for both the men’s and women’s collection. It is a clever imagery that connected with more than his New York City inspirations in itself. While the Manhattan skyline served as the collection’s dreamscape, there was also the brands’ iconic Intrecciato weave and Checker square pattern (introduced last Spring), that enhanced and not to mention, complemented all the artistic Cubist appeal — genius!
“It’s like a brick. We use it to build the foundation,” Maier enthused in an online article. Indeed, these geometric touches ranged from its most clean-cut of forms (as lively, colour-blocking patterns) to a series of more artisanal and tactile, austere offerings — think delicately intarsia-ed cube patterns rendered across dress bodices and boasting the Maison’s embroidery skills, fabric manipulation and more.
Colour was the other running theme in the collection and added a peerless mood to the brand’s otherwise regular quiet elegance. There were pant suits cut in bright Crayola colours that felt unusually pop-ish, youthful and brave, and then there were the equally ballsy jewel-tone palettes, which Maier fearlessly included for his repertoire of day dresses, gowns and wearable sleepwear.
Maier introduced a brand new, everyday handbag this season, inspired by the shape of fashion’s ubiquitous bucket bag.
Called Tambura, the bag gets its name for its cylindrical drum shape (“tamburo” in Italian means “drum”) and boasts a flat round base and spacious interior.
Available in Bottega Veneta’s classic Intrecciato nappa (the signature plain leather weave), as well as in Cocco Souplé (the luxurious crocodile skin version of the same Intrecciato weave), both styles also include two different workmanships: the art-inspired Intrecciato Abstract & Paisley Checker.
The Intrecciato Abstract recalls the modernity of abstract art and colour harmony. Employing a new technique to achieve a flawless, smooth leather finish (on the woven leather effect), artisans apply three production phases to fully refine the Intrecciato Abstract’s immaculate quality.
Aside to the Tambura, the Intrecciato Abstract technique has been applied to a range of small leather goods, the Nodini and Alumna handbags, as well as a sleek tote, as seen on the runway paired with a snazzy shorts ensemble.
Another addition to the accessories range is the new Checker Cabat.
Adopting the Spring/Summer 2018’s Checker print, this new rendition is decorated with 14 pom-poms (in 4 different sizes). The application of the pom-poms onto the Intrecciato leather takes half a day alone to produce, while the completion of the bag a total of three days plus two artisans to finally realise.
Fashioned from nappa leather, the finishing touch to the Checker Cabat are its luxurious handles made from black karung snakeskin – you’d expect nothing less for the brand’s most iconic bag.