#SuzyMFW: Bottega Veneta’s Happy Harmony

The trajectory from severity to serenity at Bottega Veneta has been subtle. But, it came to fruition with designer Tomas Maier’s beautiful, harmonious show for spring/summer 2018.

Although my memory is that the designer developed into a fine colourist only with a display of evening gowns in translucent Japanese fabrics in autumn/winter 2010, his current palette had a sophisticated sweetness.

The essence of Maier’s work has always been to execute everything his way. That meant mixing modern, ergonomic clothes with elevated details such as appliqués of exotic skins.

Pastel coloured materials from pink python to turquoise silk formed a symphony of artistry.

But that was not all: juxtaposed with the faded colours came metallic grommets worked so subtly into the surface that each looked like a twinkle of star dust.

The designer described it as “exquisite embellishment” and so it was – especially compared to the glitter glut of decoration that has swept the fashion world.

Maier said that he had drawn his inspiration from the palette of the marble room in England’s Kedleston Hall where the faded rose of the walls faces off blue frescoes.

He had then added for the audience another layer of history in the choice of show venue with its interlocking 18th-century rooms, currently used as a school, in the Palazzo Archinto near Milan’s Brera.

The embrace of history has never seemed a particular focus at Bottega which started in the 1960s as a bag company. Those bags have come to occupy a sophisticated but go-anywhere niche that appeals to both men and women.

Recently, Maier had seemed to be moving gently without much urgent direction. This show was still an oasis of calm among the more familiar fashion chaos, but this season the designer seemed to be gliding forward, while keeping the refinement and harmony of the Bottega heritage.