BACK TO BA­SICS

To­mas Maier’s fi­nal col­lec­tion for Bot­tega Veneta goes back to ba­sic with the idea of a cube. jacquie ang ex­am­ines its sig­nif­i­cance

Prestige (Malaysia) - - Contents -

In­side To­mas Maier’s fi­nal col­lec­tion for Bot­tega Veneta

bot­tega veneta’s lat­est Mai­son wasn’t just an­other store open­ing. Sit­u­at­ing the third — and big­gest — flag­ship bou­tique in New York in­spired To­mas Maier to dream up his Au­tumn/Win­ter 2018 col­lec­tion, re­volv­ing around the denizens of the city that never sleeps. “New York­ers have a real brav­ery and bold­ness,” he mused on how they own their free­dom of ex­pres­sion. “Noth­ing stops them. Noth­ing seems im­pos­si­ble.”

With their multi-faceted life­styles in mind, he con­cep­tu­alised a 66look col­lec­tion for the Bot­tega Veneta man and woman. “I was think­ing about the way of life in the city, which goes from one ex­treme to an­other,” he shared of its palette of rich colours. “A New Yorker is not afraid to stand out in the crowd.”

He pro­posed suits for women in punchy hues for work, while evening called for smoul­der­ing num­bers in­clud­ing Gigi Ha­did’s fi­nale gown in vel­vet and lace. State­ment pieces made dress­ing up ef­fort­less. Con­sider Ad­woa Aboah’s fringed wool coat or Si­jia Kang’s strik­ing tiger stripes on an over­sized wool coat that’s bonded with satin for a sump­tu­ous robe-like feel. That’s the thing about Bot­tega Veneta — true lux­ury lies in the sub­tle, some­times hid­den, de­tails. Li­nus Worde­mann’s suede jacket sported a rugged patina, but its in­te­rior was just as ex­cep­tional with mul­ti­coloured shear­ling.

Maier’s 24/7 wardrobes also rec­om­mended ver­sa­tile onestep dress­ing. The show opened with py­jama silks you can wear on an evening out about town, or lounge around in your apart­ment, such as the home de­picted in the run­way set in the Amer­i­can Stock Ex­change Build­ing. (Bot­tega Veneta cel­e­brated the open­ing of the Mai­son by mov­ing its pre­sen­ta­tion from Mi­lan to Man­hat­tan for one sea­son.)

Maier col­lab­o­rated with Tony Award-win­ning scenic de­signer Scott Pask on the space, which was dec­o­rated with con­tem­po­rary Amer­i­can sculp­ture, iconic mid­cen­tury Ital­ian pieces such as chairs by Gio Ponti and Gian­franco Frat­tini’s “Se­sann” chairs for Cassini, as well as Bot­tega Veneta’s home col­lec­tion. The eclec­tic mix echoes the in­te­rior de­sign of Bot­tega Veneta’s new home at 740 Madi­son Av­enue. “The Mai­son is in­spired by the city where it’s lo­cated, but it’s filled with Ital­ian­made prod­ucts and even Ital­ian

art,” he ex­plained. “The idea of prove­nance is so im­por­tant in the world of Bot­tega Veneta. The brand comes from a spe­cific place that tells you a story. I wanted to bring that idea of a sense of a place to our new store.”

Which brings us to ar­chi­tec­ture, a sub­ject close to Maier’s heart. His fa­ther was a prac­ti­tioner, and he would have been one too if he wasn’t in fash­ion. That’s why Bot­tega Veneta’s ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paigns are of­ten lo­cated in world-renowned build­ings, such as Lee House 2 for AW17.

The cor­ner­stone for this col­lec­tion is the cube, an imag­i­na­tive ex­trac­tion from New York’s em­blem­atic struc­tures. “It’s like a brick.” he ex­plained. “We use it to build the foun­da­tion.” Lit­er­ally. He max­imised the sim­plic­ity of its geo­met­ric form, cre­at­ing the graphic guises with sur­real shift­ing per­spec­tives on in­tar­sia dresses, cash­mere crew necks and bags such as The Lau­ren 1980 and Knot Clutch. The cube trans­formed jew­ellery into minia­ture art sculp­tures.

Other in­ter­pre­ta­tions in­cluded fa­mil­iar plaids with in­ge­nious ren­di­tions. Win­dow­pane checks were de­picted in top-stitch­ing on David Tru­lik’s jacket with a del­i­cate sil­ver chain em­broi­dery that en­dowed a blink-and-miss twin­kle on tai­lored pieces, to un­der­score the brand’s renowned stealth so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

But this was Maier’s last col­lec­tion for the house. On June 14, 2018, news broke that the cre­ative di­rec­tor would part ways with Bot­tega Veneta, where he’d spent the last 17 years steer­ing the once sleepy ar­ti­sanal goods work­shop into a lux­ury pow­er­house. “When I joined the com­pany in 2001, the house was los­ing its iden­tity and roots. We didn’t have any ar­chives at all,” he shared with Pres­tige in a 2016 in­ter­view.

Start­ing with a small col­lec­tion of bags and shoes in SS02, he went on to in­tro­duce readyto-wear in 2005, branched out into jew­ellery as well as home­ware and fur­ni­ture in 2006, launched the first uni­sex time­piece BVX in 2010, and con­ceived the first fra­grance in 2011. Along the way, he also changed the rules of fash­ion ad­ver­tis­ing with The Art of The Col­lab­o­ra­tion, work­ing with a dif­fer­ent pho­tog­ra­pher ev­ery sea­son for the past 16 years. To en­sure cen­turies of tra­di­tional arts, tech­ni­cal know-how and cul­tural her­itage had a fu­ture, he es­tab­lished La Scuola dei Maestri Pel­let­tieri di Bot­tega Veneta, a school to train next-gen leather goods ar­ti­sans.

Bot­tega Veneta now spans 270 di­rectly op­er­ated stores world­wide. Its new mega-Mai­son, which houses the en­tire Bot­tega Veneta uni­verse, in­clud­ing the Home and Fur­ni­ture col­lec­tions, serves as a bit­ter­sweet re­minder of how far the Ger­man de­signer has taken the brand. Af­ter the long jour­ney to world­wide ac­claim, home is re­ally where the heart is.

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT: SILK PY­JA­MAS TO WEAR OUT OR LOUNGE IN; A WOOL COAT AS OP­U­LENT AS A SATIN ROBE; SIL­VER CHAIN EM­BROI­DERY LENDS SPARKLE TO A JACKET; THE TAMBURA TOTE; SUEDE LOAFERS CHAN­NEL LUXE IN JEWEL HUES; OP­PO­SITE PAGE: THE SET OF BOT­TEGA VENETA’S AW18 RUN­WAY SHOW; TO­MAS MAIER

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