January 22, 2006 Milan
There was certainly plenty of character in these clothes, starting with the fabrics. They were luxe but worn, so that Maier's signature soft tailoring molded to the body. The most eye-catching piece was a jacket in leaf-green tartan that had been dyed, washed, resized, and hand-painted. There was quieter appeal in washed leathers, flannels, and piece-dyed moleskin.
New this season was a more formal edge. Maier likes what he calls "the nonchalant innocence" of young men in ties who've never worn them before. Paired with the soft brogues and the handmade, hand-painted porkpie hats that accessorized the collection, the collars and ties, slightly shrunken jackets, and trousers with narrow cuffs evoked Jack Lemmon in the pre-lapsarian sixties moment before America let it all hang out.
The bags that are Bottega's bread and butter ran a wide, curious, but covetable gamut: a duffel bag in ostrich dyed orange, a carpet bag in antique velvet, and totes in the label's classic woven intrecciato and Madagascar crocodile (which Maier loves for its big, rough scales and naturally worn brown tone).