Bottega Veneta - spring 2013

Thomas Maier rings the changes on classical elegance



This, the Bottega Veneta spring 2013 women's ready-to-wear collection whose runway show took place in Milan on Saturday 22 September 2012, is without doubt a very courageous collection. It consists of just dresses, all knee-length, in nearly all cases rigorously geometric in that they are symmetric about the vertical axis. The look is absolutely 1940s, the first part of the 1940s when rationing limited the amount of cloth that could be used, and before Christian Dior's New Look with its abundantly draped fabric.

Maier's collection includes some references to some of the season's overall trends, such as the floral patterns, the femininity, tassels, and touches of transparency, but it is very much a self-referencing creative tour-de-force, in which the garments can only truly be appreciated from close-up. The detailing is amazing, and likewise the craftsmanship, with different prints artfully combined, seams superbly finished, in some cases with leather edging with discreet studs. Fabrics are also complex and elaborate.

The cloth is cut fairly close, and this highlights the wearer, with discreetly padded shoulders, cinched waist and full hips. The outcome is that everything is utterly wearable. There is something in the collection for every woman, or, to put it differently, there is nothing for which they could say, "Beautiful, but I could never wear that."

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