Bottega Veneta RTW Spring 2011

Tomas Maier delivered a collection that was all about ease. Highlights included a relaxed series of LBDs and a few billowing jersey dresses.

This spring, Tomas Maier had but one destination in mind: the cool environs of the concrete jungle. It was a message he delivered early on with an ultra-relaxed series of LBDs — in loosely cut, street-chic silhouettes — worn with, yes, sensible flat sandals.


The models’ disheveled, straight-out-of-the-shower hair and the industrial soundtrack, filled with the clamor of construction and traffic, only augmented that undone urban vibe. Actually, make that urbane. As Maier noted pre-show, this is a study of “sophisticated casualness.”


And indeed, his collection was all about ease, through and through. The suiting, though sleek, came languid and unstructured, cut from washed silk that draped the body. Sporty separates — simple tanks, gathered linen skirts, and jumpsuits — worked a wrinkled, rumpled nonchalance, vaulting the deshabille look into tony territory. And, save for the chainmail dresses and structured croc vests and jackets, which added a tough-chic element, everything came breezy and light. Furthering that airy mood was an overarching perforated motif, whether in patches of athletic mesh (e.g. at the shoulders of a t-shirt tunic) or the calculated hole punches and tiny Lucio Fontana-like slashes on smocks.


Weighing things down, however, were some unnecessary details. Case in point: the shirtdress, awkwardly dotted with feathers.


But those moments were brief. Maier is a pragmatist and spring was rife with very real and very understandable clothes. Which also explains the lack of eveningwear this go-around, aside from a few billowing jersey dresses that could easily shift to the twilight hours with the right heels. “I’m not inspired by red carpet events or the little starlets who pose in front of those logo-printed walls,” said Maier. “I’m inspired to make clothes for women.” Amen to that.

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