“For me being outside is the number one thing,” Tomas Maier declared in his show notes, a message that was radiantly clear at the Bottega Veneta headquarters where the show was staged. On their way in, guests passed through a lush sustainable garden that offered peaceful respite from the frenzy of Fashion Week. Once seated, they were reminded of the outdoors again by Maier’s artful assemblage of technical textiles and spiffy sportswear, which mirrored elements of Mother Nature, from forests to sea.
While the inspiration was timely given rising nautical and bohemian trends, the collection was really made to stand out by the individuated treatment of fabrics and collage-like prints. In fashion, craft equals exclusivity, or at least the illusion thereof. For Spring/Summer 2016, Bottega Veneta’s runway was bursting with contemporary craftsmanship that elevated the elaborately textured surfaces of sporty separates and elegant gowns.
High fashion is often too fussy to be worn in nature, but there was a pragmatic side to Bottega Veneta’s presentation that was begging to be put to work while hiking, sailing, or exploring the great outdoors. The show launched with textured jackets and cropped athletic pants patterned with fallen leaves and trimmed with animal print — a perfect uniform for the camping enthusiast. Sporty looks continued with cropped knitwear, muscular gilets with contrast trim and grommeted punchouts, leopard-print fleece jackets, and crumpled skirts with cargo pockets.
If the closest you get to a forest is watching nature documentaries, Maier’s sophisticated daywear selection will keep the nature-oriented mood intact. This included printed suits and gorgeous leather jackets that were embossed with python skins. On the upscale side of things, Bottega Veneta presented a huge array of gorgeous dresses that were draped and folded from technical cottons meant to resemble sails. Each exhibited artfully constructed ropes, braided cords, netted overlays, or graphic scribbles that were employed to imitate elements of sailing gear. For once, evening dresses were unfussy, but still glamorous enough to wear on the red carpet (and beyond). While definitely inspired, the collection also felt unique, where even “trend” pieces were mutated into new forms that harkened a new era of youthful exuberance at the legendary brand.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree