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Bottega Veneta’s Rather Fabulous Flaws

Godfrey Deeny
January 17th, 2011 @ 00:12 AM - Milan

Artfully emphasized mistakes or carefully considered flaws, designed to heighten a sense of rarefied luxury or suggest nonchalantly lived-in chic were the clever themes of the latest menswear runway show by Bottega Veneta on Sunday, Jan. 16, the best collection seen in the Milan this weekend at the halfway point of the four-day Italian season.

Crumpled and crinkled, made in broken print fabrics or composed of materials with that were erratically printed, this was a highly contemporary statement of modern chic by Bottega Veneta’s creative director Tomas Maier.

“It was all about creating a wardrobe for busy men who travel a great deal. That’s the modern reality of our customer. He has to have clothes that look right and work functionally as soon as he walks off a plane anywhere, in any country,” explained Maier after the show.

The show, staged in BV’s modernist headquarters in south Milan, was a briskly directed affair, befitting the "man on a creative mission" mood of the clothes. The whole look was thoroughly quirky – from horizontal zips imposed on the midriff of other wise classic double-breasted blazers to slim-line suits finished like muddy abstract expressionist paintings.

Jackets were cut strictly, pants never pressed at the front, and shirts worn outside of trousers. Everything had a lived-in look even the first time you put it on, like the totes, several of which had shaggy scratchy leather trim. And every fabric had some technical treatment, from classic woolens over-printed to give them a three-dimensional visual effect, to jerseys with deliberately misplaced stitching.

Maier also honed into the new subtle winter color palette that is all the rage in Milan – faded tangerines, deep sapphires, bright lemons, tourmalines and childish blues that recall '60s Pop culture revamped for our new decade.

“I wasn’t influenced by any particular theme, but when it came to the colors, well, I’d been watching Antonioni, especially 'Red Desert,'” added Maier, referring to the moody, classic '60s film, starring Irish hyper-bohemian actor Richard Harris.

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