This season, designer Tomas Maier turned to the same inspirations that served him so well with the Spring/Summer 2016 menswear collection last June – the great outdoors. In his show notes the designer underlined this fact when he said, “For me, being outside is the number one thing. The more I can get out of an urban environment, the better it gets. This collection started with the outdoors, hiking, sailing, big nature.”
On the runway, Maier’s communion with Mother Nature apparently had him trekking towards Africa with earthy tones opening the show on sporty silhouettes in abstract grassland prints. On his voyage he also encountered his fair share of exotic animals with an impressive burnt orange patchwork coat assembled from watersnake, leaving an indelible mark – while the purr of leopard print calf hair pieces will vibrate in the minds of buyers.
From there the collection started to get more wind in its sails thanks to the clever concept of using sailcloth fabric as the foundation for asymmetrical evening gowns that integrated a striking use of crochet knitwear to form textural bodices. But even before those final looks alighted on the runway, Maier had already found other astute ways to connect his love of the artisanal beauty to that of functionality. This was most apparent in the way he used hiking rope as straps on suede shifts or had them falling like rivulets of colored fringe down the front of a sleeveless floor-skimming dress.
What is remarkable about this collection, and for that matter pretty much every collection Maier has done for Bottega Veneta, is the way he is always able to maintain a sense of ease and comfort with his clothing, while at the same time, through his fabric experimentation and his handicraft finishes, take them to a new and unexplored place.
At least with Bottega Veneta you always know you are going to be traveling in style.