There's been lots of talk about oversize this and exaggerated that so far this season, but Bottega Veneta's Tomas Maier is taking a different tack. "It's usually more flowy," he said in his succinct style backstage, addressing his Fall collection's new close-to-the-body shapes; its dense, opaque fabrics; and the ways in which he used print and embroidery to enhance the figure. Enhance it he did; it's still not too late to ship a black velvet bustier evening gown with Art Nouveau-style boning on the torso to L.A. for the Oscars tomorrow night.
Maier opened with strict tailoring: Coat-dresses and suits were marvels of buttoned-up precision, with graphic details at the sides and slightly padded hips that put the accent on nipped and narrowed waists—the New Look again. With the silhouette thus established, Maier touched on curvy day shifts unadorned but for large-scale brooches at the neckline, and sporty, waffle-knit sweaters tossed over peplum blouses.
What impressed about the dresses was their range. Printed numbers that riffed on ones that Maier introduced last Fall hugged the body, while others came embellished with shreds of chiffon that looked like dense layers of feathers. A pair of stretch velvet frocks, one with overlapping multicolor flowers and the other with curling black vines à la cut-paper silhouettes, had an almost naïve innocence. But ultimately elegance ruled. Maier's event dresses, which seemed to elongate their models' already exceedingly willowy frames, will get scooped up by celebrities, even if the timing isn't right for the Academy Awards. High marks all around.
Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
February 24, 2012 Milan
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