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.

Bottega Veneta’s Big Easy

Godfrey Deeny
September 27th, 2009 @ 00:19 AM - Milan

There was a neat stylistic change of gears at Bottega Veneta Saturday morning, Sept. 26, in Milan when designer Tomas Maier went lightweight and voluminous in a collection where the best news was the hard fittings and not the frocks.

Crepe mesh jump suits and striped cotton tunics had a "just out of bed and off for a lazy morning in the local market" mood about them. And judging by the huge size of most of the tote bags most of the models carried, nobody is on much of an economy drive.

Maier, who spends most of his time in Florida, seems to have a hit collection on his hands when American sportswear inspires him. His last men’s collection was inspired by baseball jackets and for his opening women’s looks, he opted for light pants and shirts with subtle color-blocked edges. The effect was a new, feathery attitude, far removed from the designer's often times heavier-handed approach with heftier fabrics, and a too couture-inspired direction.

There was, however, an odd similarity with last season’s tulip shaped Jil Sander collection by Raf Simons, which was hard not to remark upon.

But Bottega Veneta has always been more an accessories resource than a mega fashion destination, and once again Maier came up with some excellent inventions. Quite a few designers in the U.S. and Europe have been showing raffia, but nobody produced half as many cool shoes as the Louis XV furniture leg colored raffia wedges seen on Bottega Veneta’s catwalk. Maier also sewed up some very fine, small raffia totes that were chicly contemporary in an ecological way.

Metal mini leaf earrings and egg yolk woven leather intreccio totes were other standouts in a collection that was all about riding out the recession with discretion.

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