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Embellishing It

Bottega Veneta: Making classic luxury pieces that seem hot each season is a tough business, but Tomas Meier, Bottega Veneta’s creative director, knows how to do just that. In his hands, the butter-soft skins and the house’s signature woven...

Bottega Veneta: Making classic luxury pieces that seem hot each season is a tough business, but Tomas Meier, Bottega Veneta’s creative director, knows how to do just that. In his hands, the butter-soft skins and the house’s signature woven leathers always take on a new dimension.

This story first appeared in the September 27, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

For spring, Meier unexpectedly elected to play with embellishments, including Murano glass coins, filigree embroideries, tortoiseshell beads and ceramic trimmings. The outstanding accessories pieces were the suede or napa Bandolero bags, a chic fusion of elements borrowed from cowboys and Native Americans. The bags, made to be worn across the chest, are perfect to jazz up that old cashmere T-shirt or an anonymous black dress because of the thick straps, richly decorated with dangling Murano glass circlets, butterfly-shaped filigree embroideries, shredded fringes, ceramic beads and string details. And if next season you’ve had enough of the strap, a simple snap will remove it, and it can be replaced. The labor-intensive craftsmanship, however, allows for only 50 pieces per style to go into production.

On the fashion front, Meier treats clothes as if they are accessories, believing that one great piece is enough to renovate your closet. That translates into an opulent fitted python jacket with gold buttons, low-slung seersucker trousers, printed suede bikinis and a large-scale lizard skirt. It all came in a light palette straight out of the pantry, with shades of butterscotch, cream and biscuit brown.