"I always start with color first," said Tomas Maier, explaining his design process. "Color, then material, then shape." That attention to palette came through in his engaging new cruise collection for Bottega Veneta, which kicked off Resort season here in New York today. Inspired by the frescoes of Tiepolo and Veronese, the designer worked with shades of yellow, peach, and mint green, made all the more intense by the way he showed them top to toe in monochrome looks. The soles of a pair of bow-front pumps, for example, were the same bold shade of peach as their leather uppers, which in turn matched the cashmere double-breasted peacoat and wide-legged trousers.
As for materials, Maier looked toward the past and the future. On the one hand, a slim day clutch was made from a type of silk leather that the Italian house used in the seventies; on the other, the label's signature intrecciato bags were woven from a Japanese paper and metal and its large cabat bag from organic black rubber with aluminum embellishments. "If you don't want a leather bag, I don't understand why you want a fake leather bag," he said, and so he sought more original alternatives for the house's usual luscious skins.
Maier gets off on the intersection of the artisanal and the high tech, and he was in full control of the mix here. Clingy jersey gowns were fused with tiny beads rather than embroidered, and larger beads were knit directly into the seams of a pair of stretchy black dresses. There were innovations in terms of shape, too. Maier said he was thinking a lot about the weekend issue—as in, what does the BV woman want to wear on her days off? What he came up with was a pair of true-blue color-blocked tracksuits.