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The maritime trend has officially announced itself. First Maxmara, then Pucci, Sportmax and now Bottega Veneta where, for SS16, designer Tomas Maier had taken the sailcloth as inspiration for his eveningwear. Wrapped as a single piece aabout the body and tied up in lanyards, Maier had wanted to see if he could meet the challenge of constructing a garment from a single piece of cloth. Of course, it wasn’t really sailcloth (these pale glacier and rose-coloured gowns had been remade in a viscose polyester) but the rope and grommet details still looked pretty authentic.
“The more I can get out of an urban environment, the better it gets,” said the German designer who lives in a pavilion just outside Florida and pops over to Milan to manage business at the Kering-owned Bottega only when he has to, which isn’t very often as the business is totally shipshape. “The collection started with the outdoors, hiking, sailing, big nature.” He’s also fairly efficient with an explanation.
Here were pretty blouson jackets (think tracksuit tops) in nubuck calf, hooded sweatshirts and “track pants” in a technical fleece, and leopard spotted calf hair jackets. Despite the athletic silhouettes, Maier had used juxtaposing textures to add depth. The technical fleeces featured a camouflage of natural prints, a leafy mosaic like patterns on a Persian carpet — another version played with a pretty floral.
There was also a heart-stoppingly gorgeous bag: cross-body, slouchy, and made in a marquetry of cigar coloured watersnake and goat skins. The kind of delicious heirloom you dream of turning up in a flea market. Drawn from similar accessories in the archive, Maier had decided on his intrecciato motif to reflect the area of Veneto, home of the Bottega factory, where such marquetry is typical. I wanted to snatch it out of the model’s hand and sail off with it myself.
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