The difference between polite clapping and genuine applause was as loud as ever at the end of the fall Bottega Veneta show, Tomas Maier’s best yet. Double points for efficiency — by sending out dual exits, 36 total, the show clocked in at record time. The clothes, too, exuded precision and discipline, with their lean lines and narrow fit. The first group featured tailored jackets and skirt suits cut straight, fastened in a tight line of covered buttons with neat shoulders and slightly nipped waists. Combined with a brooding palette of black, navy and maroon, Maier engaged in chic austerity that felt on the money for the season.
It was controlled but never hard, as the designer infused the look with enticing depth through rich fabrics and decoration without forcing his artsy whims, as he’s been known to do. A measured approach to statement jewelry, such as big brooches placed at the neck of wool sheaths and pendants worn with a couple of great waffled sweaters, brought the right touch of elegance to otherwise spare daywear. And for evening, velvet cocktail dresses and gowns with shredded chiffon on shoulders, peplums and tiered skirts were darkly seductive.