To­mas Maier, the man be­hind Bot­tega Veneta’s wheel talks to Azza Arif back­stage af­ter his show about his high-volt­age, glam­orous Fall/Win­ter 2017 col­lec­tion, and the im­por­tance of hav­ing pas­sion and pa­tience.

Marie Claire (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Bot­tega Veneta’s cre­ative head tells us why the brand’s pieces are in­vest­ments, and his in­spi­ra­tion for this sea­son.

It was like watching an old Hol­ly­wood movie set in the late 30s or early ‘40s: the mod­els were the vin­tage movie hero­ines, di­rected un un­der the watch­ful eye of To­mas M Maier. We were wit­ness­ing his ill il­lus­tra­tions come to life, bask­ing in the glam­our and time­less lux­ury o of the col­lec­tion. Back­stage he te tells me about his art­work, d de­scrib­ing how his col­lec­tion e en­tails “a very strong sil­hou­ette— l like an il­lus­tra­tion—with a strong s shoul­der, cinched waists and rounded hips.” I nod­ded, re­call­ing some of his most strik­ing looks that passed me on the Bot­tega Veneta Fall/Win­ter 2017 run­way ear­lier that day; the row of puff-sleeved, nip-waisted midi dresses in dusty blue, yel­low, and pink.

Ev­ery look was time­less. One of the most un­for­get­table cre­ations from the col­lec­tion was the high-volt­age, Acade­myaward wor­thy floor-length gun­metal gown worn by Joan Smalls un­der a dra­matic black cape, with hair set in a wave for the fi­nale – it was oth­er­worldly.

An­other mes­meris­ing piece was the per­fectly con­structed and tai­lored metal­lic gown that was so luminous it seemed to light up the room; its translu­cent beauty drew a gasp from the au­di­ence. “I think at that level of in­vest­ment, you wouldn’t be look­ing at some­thing too ca­sual that you could just or­der on­line. It [the in­vest­ment] bet­ter be on some­thing that you can keep for

a long time,” he said, ex­plain­ing why a piece of Bot­tega Veneta cloth­ing is an in­vest­ment for life. “The dresses are so beau­ti­fully made that, even if you don’t wear it for a long time, when you pick it out it will still be a beau­ti­ful dress. This is be­cause it’s spe­cial, from the way it’s made, to the ma­te­rial and the colour. And it’s [the in­vest­ment] a ‘mo­ment’ too that re­minds you of that in­stant when you bought it, or a re­flec­tion of when you wore it. I hate dis­pos­able [fash­ion]”

This is re­flected in his view of the see-now, buy-now ap­proach, pop­u­lar with Amer­i­can de­sign­ers. “I think that [see-now, buynow] is suit­able for cer­tain types of prod­uct, but not for this com­pany. Ob­vi­ously, the prod­uct we make is a prod­uct that takes a lot of time to make. It’s like a de­ci­sion; ‘ hey, I’m do­ing this, I’m or­der­ing this’. And when the prod­uct ar­rives, even the wait would be plea­sur­able.”

Which Hol­ly­wood hero­ine was he pic­tur­ing when de­sign­ing this col­lec­tion? “I have no muse,” To­mas re­veals. “I think of many dif­fer­ent women in or­der to make the col­lec­tion very con­sid­er­ate, to cater to dif­fer­ent women, with dif­fer­ent shapes, hair colours and skin tones; all of these as­pects are on our minds at all times. And this is re­flected in our show too, it’s al­ways been like that.”

An­other high­light of the show was the in­te­grated as­pect, where wom­enswear and menswear par­al­lel. “With the men’s stu­dio close by to the women’s, it makes it eas­ier to share ideas be­tween stu­dios on what we are work­ing on, the fab­ric we are work­ing on. Some things (menswear el­e­ments) go well into women’s, but not of­ten the other way around.” The tai­lor­ing on a slick black pantsuit, the sil­hou­ette of a clean-cut black jump­suit, as well as the smok­ing coat were a chic tweak from men’s, with fem­i­nine bold shoul­ders and con­struc­tion. As for men’s, To­mas used sim­i­lar ma­te­ri­als as de­tail­ing on cer­tain ar­eas like the lapels. From every­thing I have ex­pe­ri­enced and seen first­hand, it is un­der­stand­able why To­mas is adamant about the clas­sic method of pre­ci­sion and pa­tience. Af­ter all, his cre­ations are works of art; they are there to be ad­mired, cher­ished, and stand the test of time.

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