From Milan to Manhattan. This season, Bottega Veneta presents its Fall / Winter 2018 women’s and men’s collections for one season only in New York City to celebrate the opening of the new Maison flagship store at 740 Madison Avenue.
With its longtime motto “When your own initials are enough,” Bottega Veneta has always celebrated fierce individualism. The idea takes flight in homage to the spirit of New York women and men who are free to fearlessly express themselves in a city that’s seen everything. “New Yorkers have a real bravery and boldness,” says Tomas Maier. “Nothing stops them. Nothing seems impossible.” For women, that means a wardrobe filled with unexpected textures and a vast palette of unique colors. The look is finished off with statement-making boots on a pavement-friendly low heel and a bag that’s both an artisanal masterpiece and pragmatic essential like the Palio Fringe Tote. For men, it means the sophisticated eccentricity of animal print shirting, harlequin checked tailoring and brashly patterned socks worn with “corduroy” suede loafers in jewel hues.
The collection explores the various facets of life in New York, including the necessary escape from the city’s intense whirl of activity, whether to the wilderness of the country or the serenity of one’s home. “I was thinking about the way of life in the city, which goes from one extreme to another” says Maier. “It’s hyper-motion and then it falls into almost total seclusion.” The Fall/Winter collection includes clothes that are designed to exist in the comfort of a beautifully appointed apartment—floral pajama silks for both men and women, and ethereally soft evening dresses, for women, that can both lounge and live it up.
The runway set is also defined by contrast and curating a world of one’s own. In this case, it’s the merger of New York and Italy, seen in a stark Brutalist backdrop filled with sensual Italian design—both iconic vintage pieces and Bottega Veneta’s Furniture collection. That eclectic mix echoes the Maison, our new permanent home in New York which is designed to be as comfortable as your own. “The Maison is inspired by the city in which it’s located, but it’s filled with Italian-made products and even Italian art,” explains Maier. “The idea of provenance is so important in the world of Bottega Veneta. The brand comes from a specific place that tells you a story. I wanted to bring that idea of a sense of place to our new store.”
The overarching vision of the season is rooted in architecture—a long-time passion of Tomas Maier and a defining ideal of the brand—drawing inspiration from the iconic and modern structures that are unmistakably New York. From there, Maier extracts the detail of the cube as a motif that weaves its way through the women’s and men’s collections. “It’s like a brick,” says Maier. “We use it to build the foundation.”
The perfect simplicity of the geometric form is utilized to create graphic patterns with surreal shifting perspectives. For women, it’s evident in richly hued intarsia silk dresses, lush shearling coats and on iconic bags including The Lauren 1980 and The Knot Clutch. Used in this season’s women’s jewelry, the cube turns earrings, rings and cuffs into artful sculpture in miniature. For men, there are joyously colorful intarsia patterns on felted grey cashmere crewnecks and jackets pieced together with precise, knife-sharp cubic forms.
The cube is an evolution of The Intrecciato Checker square introduced last spring. The checker continues for Fall/ Winter. The new women’s bag this season, a drum-shaped zippered tote called The Tambura comes in a variety of checker workmanships including Intrecciato Abstract and Paisley Checker. The men’s Intrecciato Checker Totes of spring are recast for fall in bolder colors. The most compelling new men’s bag for fall, however, comes in solid nappa. The MI-NY is a shoulder duffle designed with thoughtful and instinctive functionality to be the ultimate travel bag.
The cube’s architectural boldness is balanced with subtlety as Maier translates the sparkle of the skyline with a delicate silver chain embroidery that has a clever trompe l’oeil effect. It appears at first to be a top-stitch or windowpane pattern on tailored jackets, while bestowing a blink-and-miss twinkle on dense plaid coats. “It’s a very Bottega Veneta detail,” says Maier. “You have to get up close to the product to discover and appreciate it.”