Bottega Veneta Returns to the Basics for Fall/Winter 2016

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Great clothes can help nurture self-confidence, and this is something Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta innately understands.

The act of getting dressed is the most personal art form, one that the entire world participates in on a daily basis. It is art because it is an act of adornment, a way of transforming the human body. It is personal because it is non-verbal communication, a message to the world that conveys personality. Great clothes can help nurture self-confidence, and this is something Tomas Maier of Bottega Veneta innately understands. “That’s why we make clothes. It’s not for show, it’s for people. I am always thinking about them, and what works for their lives,” read the notes for Bottega Veneta’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection. This brief summary addressed fashion’s most important function: a wardrobe is an extension of the self, and must therefore support all of the needs presented by daily living. Suits for the office, dresses for date night, loungewear for leisure time — these all represent modes of being in material form. It helps when our clothes make us feel good, and luckily, Bottega Veneta’s polished, technically marvelous collection provides the kind of sophisticated, impeccably tailored clothing that survives fickle trends and changes of season.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

The subtle elegance of Bottega Veneta’s presentation was apparent from the start, and it started with a chic all-black ensemble featuring a lightweight coat, a soft sweater, and relaxed trousers. It was the kind of classic look that one could wear a multitude of ways in a variety of situations, from the airplane to the boardroom. Maier’s proposition was simple: powerful style doesn’t have to be complicated.

How refreshing is it that Bottega Veneta decided to focus on simple, classic styles? The way the audience swooned over every look might tell you the answer.

However, we’d be remiss not to mention the superb use of fine knits in this collection, which hugged the body just-so and moved beautifully down the runway. Bottega Veneta’s luxurious knits appeared as desert-striped sweaters and turtlenecks, soft double-breasted jackets, nonchalant trousers, and more. Muted plaids were a central motif, and were employed to add surface variety to knife-pleated skirts, sleeveless dresses, and glossy lacquered outerwear (a closer look revealed that the intersecting lines of plaid were actually engineered from thin strips of snakeskin).

Maier also elevated his excellent textiles with a smattering of sparkles, which twinkled from plaid car coats, and knit dresses that were so finely woven that they appeared to be transparent. These lightweight knits appeared again in the final act, and were retooled with bustier cups and glittering pleated skirts. From season to season, designers have been zeroed in on trends. We’ve seen grunge and Victoriana and punk and glam rock all have their chances on the runway. But how refreshing is it that Bottega Veneta decided to focus on simple, classic styles? The way the audience swooned over every look might tell you the answer.

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