Bottega Veneta is on fire. The brand just reveal to the press that, for the first time, it has broken though the $1billion dollar barrier in revenues and has seen profits rise 46.7 percent in 2012. Stunning results that the brand’s CEO Marco Bizzarri put squarely on the shoulders of the house’s designer Tomas Maier who, for more than a decade, has methodically rebuilt Bottega Veneta and returned it to the top tier of the luxury pyramid.
Today’s fall/winter 2013 show was another sophisticated step in the right direction and will help cement this company’s rise to the top.
Set to the sensual jazz songs of Charles Mingus, Maier produced a collection that had a hint of the 1940s to it. His dark lipped screen siren models with waves of hair pillowing out around their heads started the show off in a series of pitch black ensembles that played with proportions. The monochrome color made it easier to appreciate the millefeuille petal collar on a trench coat, the sculptural shoulders on a dress, the 3D pelum waist on a fitted top or the drop waist skirt on a dress crafted out of vertical pleats that swayed like loose pages of a book as the model glided down the catwalk.
From there Maier went on to experiment with his fabrics in a different ways. He constructed abstract designs though felting wool in shades of ocher and red as an update on the idea of prints. On the strong shoulders of a black flannel top that degraded down to gay at the hem Maier added three-dimensional fabric dots. And the exquisite way he was able to create a raffia effect out of a multitude of black ribbons was masterfully done.
So good were the designs - that the brand’s bread and butter handbags almost faded into the background. Although the medallion jewelry did make a strong impression.
It might be true that currently it is the leather goods at Bottega Veneta that account for 85 percent of the brand’s sales. But with a second store opening in Milan next year and another one scheduled to open in Los Angeles in April, Maier will have even more opportunities to have prospective clients get a first hand look at his polished read to wear. Given the chance, this collection will convert more than a few women to the Bottega Veneta way of life.
- Jessica Michault