4 posts tagged "Tomas Maier"
We’ve talked a lot about doing as little as possible for Spring 2014, and at Bottega Veneta the concept was no different. “This season people aren’t referencing a woman—it’s just ease that they’re after,” said hairstylist Guido Palau, who chalks up this change to more conceptual silhouettes and techno fabrics on the runway. He cites hair as one of the mediums many designers are using (Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier included) to bring their clothes back down to earth for the modern woman. The natural, formless texture seen at today’s show was meant to lend an aspect of simplicity to the highly detailed collection (ruffles, precise pleats, gems, and even fringe all made an appearance). Palau worked with what the girls showed up with, creating a gentle bend with a curling iron where needed. He added a slightly off-center part and called it a day. “To wear a beautiful dress and not worry about your hair is the ultimate luxury, isn’t it?” he quipped.
Pat McGrath followed the same direction for the makeup, perfecting complexions with foundation, adding a natural brown tone around the eyes, dusting a light blush on the cheeks, and dabbing a clear balm on lips. “There was no exaggeration anywhere [on the face],” she said. Looks like purity has found a recurring place on the catwalk.
Tomas Maier is the kind of designer who is incredibly particular about all facets of his collections, which is to say every inch of a Bottega Veneta show is carefully considered—hair and makeup included. “He really wanted a hairstyle,” Guido Palau said of the soft, seventies-meets-forties, “Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver” curls he obliged Maier with for Fall.
Cleaning hair with Redken Curvaceous Shampoo and Conditioner so it was light and airy, Palau rough-dried strands with its Guts 10 Volumizing Spray Foam mousse to add texture, before creating a deep side part and tightly coiling one-inch sections, which had been prepped with Redken’s Iron Shape 11 Finishing Thermal Spray, around a thirteen-millimeter iron. Then, just before the show started, Palau loosely spread out the curls with a boar-bristle brush, slipping a single bobby pin above the right ear.
Maier was equally specific about models’ “matte, matte, ultra lip,” as makeup artist Pat McGrath referred to the burnt-orange-brown pigment that she painted onto pouts. “We did look at fabrics [from the collection] for that,” she elaborated of the custom color. Dusting a brown-black eye shadow on the tops of lids and underneath the lower lash lines—”Just to give a little sexiness”—McGrath finished the look with a light-handed application of brown mascara.
When word broke this summer that Bottega Veneta would be launching its first signature scent, fans of the brand rejoiced. Known for a certain polished chic sensibility and some seriously choice leather goods, the brand has been curiously quiet as its peers have entered the challenging world of designer fragrance, one by one. But creative director Tomas Maier was purposely biding his time, waiting for the perfect time to branch out into beauty. “If there’s no image of a woman, there’s no need for a fragrance,” Maier told Style.com in a recent interview. Having spent the last ten years honing the Bottega archetype—”she’s a woman who knows what she wants, is very confident, and is not about trends”—that need is now very real. The resulting floral chypre eau is steeped in Bottega culture; it is meant to smell like leather—old leather-bound books, stored in a house with wooden floors in the Veneto countryside, to be exact—and boasts masculine notes like oak moss, benzoin, and Indian patchouli that are softened by more feminine hints of jasmine sambac and plum. The unexpected aroma is at once spicy and sweet, masculine and feminine, statement-making and delicate. Just don’t expect a flashy celebrity campaign cameo anytime soon. “We don’t work like that,” Meier says. Here, on the eve of his Spring presentation, Maier talks creating scents that “lose time,” why he can’t stand “ghastly” bottle design, and what’s next for Bottega’s burgeoning beauty business.
So, where did this idea of the house in the Veneto countryside come from? Is it a real place?
It’s an original image—an idea, an input—because I didn’t want to lean on existing fragrances. So I imagined this old house, in the Veneto countryside—that’s where [Bottega] is from—and you have the big rooms; the wood floors; and you have the library walls filled with books, leather-bound books, old leather. It’s very open to the countryside, and outside there’s fresh-cut grass, hay, anything from the farm. I gave the idea to the creators, and eight different noses came back to me with their interpretation. From those eight noses, I picked the interpretation that seemed like what a Bottega Veneta scent should be about. You have to reach the perfect balance, and that’s what takes a long time.
Did you have a lot of experience going into this process, or was creating a signature scent a big learning experience for you?
I know a bit about fragrance&I like fragrance; I like that idea of recalling a memory through a scent, recalling a person, recalling a situation or physical place. I have many fragrances in my stores—fragrances that are not very obvious, and are not very distributed. For example, I’ve been working with Serge Lutens for a very long time because I love his fragrances. I think he’s very talented, and with this little fragrance company we carry from Santa Monica that is all oil-based. I also like some men’s aftershaves from little Italian barbershops—things like that, things that you have to travel to get. And that’s what I like to bring to the table in my stores because that’s why people come to me. But did I learn a lot? Yes. Do I know how to make a perfume? No, absolutely not, because that is a world on its own. It’s a magic world I will never know.
The designer fragrance boom, is, well, booming. This Fall will see the release of new olfactory offerings from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Fendi, Prada, and Bottega Veneta, which debuted its premiere scent last night at a cocktail party on the Upper East Side. “It’s based on the idea of leather, not the smell of leather,” Vice President of Marketing for Bottega Veneta Fragrances, Coty Prestige Thomas Lalague said of the floral chypre eau that features classically masculine notes like oak moss, benzoin, and Indian patchouli softened by more feminine hints of jasmine sambac and plum. “The trail is very feminine but I think it will appeal to men and women,” Lalague said, pointing out that its future success will be due to the committed involvement of the house’s creative director, Tomas Maier. “It was about an inspiration more than anything,” Maier said of his vision—an inspiration that stemmed specifically from the idea of a house in the Venetian countryside, with dark wood floors, leather bound books, and a warm breeze circulating the scent of wildflowers, cut grass, and hay. Maier, in turn, was eager to share credit with his perfuming partner, Robertet’s Michel Almairac. “A nose is something magic.”
When asked why the brand had decided to branch out into fragrance now, the designer replied that it was “the right time for the company. If there’s no image of a woman, there’s no need for a fragrance.” Having spent the last ten years building this image of “a woman who knows what she wants, is very confident and not about trends,” it seems that the need for a scent is now very real: BV fans like Jen Brill, Giovanna Battaglia, and Coco Brandolini all turned up to toast Maier. “Usually perfumes from big brands feel heavy. But this is the first one that’s not heavy, and that’s so important. And the bottle!” effused Brandolini of the rounded flacon with the house’s signature intrecciato woven leather pattern carved out on the bottom. “I never buy a fragrance if the bottle is bad and I love to have [this one] on my dresser.”