ByToday's Bottega Veneta show, according to Tomas Maier, was about technology and handicrafts coming together. That puts it in close company with his collection for Spring, but where that one seemed to be rooted in the 1960's, this had its inspiration in the present. "It's urban," he said. Hence the baggy jeans "chalked" to look faded (an unfamiliar sight on a BV runway if ever there was one), which the designer matched with sharp blazers and scarves with long fringe. This collection wasn't so much about elevating streetwear, though, as it was about embracing color (emerald green, violet, orangey red) and a diverse range of surface treatments. It was also a celebration of the dress.
Pleating was a big message here, as it has been on many other runways this season (thank you, Madame Grès exhibition in Paris). As much was evident from the first look out, a printed green bustier dress with a plissé skirt. Maier returned to the motif at the end with a series of cocktail dresses embroidered with tucked and folded swaths of stretch mesh. In between, he added a panel of graphic black and white beading to the waistline of a red gabardine number, and tiled the bodice of another with shiny little squares. Less compelling were a pair of shifts appliquéd with clear plastic in such a way that they looked like aprons. To close, there was a parade of glorious chiffon goddess gowns, each one more vibrant than the next.
As ever, the handbags were as luxe as it gets, in matte and glazed crocodile or grommeted ostrich skin. A tote in natural lizard was overlaid with intrecciato leather in bright indigo. It was indicative of the kind of experimentation that gave the collection its palpable joie de vivre.