Another savvy Bottega Veneta collection from Tomas Maier, who in recent seasons has seemed far more interested in addressing the wardrobe needs of his tony clientele than in delivering runway flourish. That said, Maier does have an artistic sensibility which invariably informs his work, as it did here.
His focus was on dresses cut lean through the torso before releasing into skirts with movement. “We are always thinking about what clothes should do for a woman and her personal experience of them,” the designer said in his program notes. Hence the deliberate ease delivered via graceful lines and fluid wool crepes and jerseys. Yet Maier dresses a woman who radiates strength. He thus tempered the softness with abstract surface geometry crafted from fabric splices in two or three colors. This graphic display started out interesting but grew heavy-handed with repetition, particularly with blocks of leather inserted into the mix. Not so Maier’s pullover sweater-and-skirt combos — charmers all — and his lovely twisted tulle and plissé dresses. These showed Maier’s mastery of gentleness, a genre with which he has at times seemed uncomfortable. As for the outerwear, in this major coat season, a pair of shirred belted beauties in camel and purple worked the sleek side of shearling.