EXCLUSIVE: TOMAS MAIER TALKS TO MC
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.
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.