Tomas Maier's technical accomplishments at Bottega Veneta are all the more spectacular for being so subtle. This season, his obsession with the craft of clothing saw him apply his trademark "barely there" construction to the formal foundations of the finest Neapolitan tailoring—no mean challenge! But the very first outfit, a three-piece suit with peaked shoulders, deep vents, and a trim double-breasted waistcoat, was a confident assertion of success, and that sharp, hypertailored silhouette set the tone for the rest of the collection. Even the most casual elements—denim jackets, for instance—were tailored to the nth. "A tidy silhouette keeps you upright," declared the designer. Something about the way he said that suggested he might also have moral rectitude in mind, which would possibly account for the appearance of a green loden coat, a stolid style stalwart of the Mitteleuropa bourgeoisie. The layers of gray flannel were also a sobering option.

But Maier is perfectly capable of countering any tendency toward the straitlaced with his instinct for sheer, unadulterated luxury, present here in ribbed cashmeres, a jacket in BV's signature Intrecciato weave, and accessories that included a budget-busting duffel in honey-toned Madagascar crocodile. The designer also added a hit of rock 'n' roll flash with a trim little jacket in glazed python, making one wonder just what the bowler-hatted BV man gets up to at night.