For Spring 2013, Bottega Veneta considers the ways in which clothes can be at once tough-minded and sweet-natured. The collection ranges from angular, precisely tailored looks to soft, fluid pieces, all sharing a distinctive silhouette, a polished air, and the ultimately private experience of extraordinary workmanship.
The starting point is a strong, padded shoulder and short sleeve. The rest of the silhouette is slim, with a narrow waist and long hem. Skirts and dresses end mid-calf, some rigid and architectural in construction, with a slit or pleat for movement, others sinuous and draped. Pants are high-waisted and lanky, worn with tunics, shirts, or wind breakers that extend the long line.
The palette consists of dusty shades of peach, yellow, blue, red, plaster, and antique white, all anchored in black, which is used variously as a frame, an accent, or a counterpoint. Luxe materials determine the approach to each look’s construction. There are fabrics with a stiffer hand–double-faced wool, double-faced cashmere, double-faced cotton, cotton-and-linen canvas, paper calf, and nylon backed with cotton poplin—used to add structure and architecturally conceived volume. Fluid silks—silk jersey, silk crêpe, silk chiffon, crêpe de chine and silk georgette—fall closer to the body, with volume revealed only in motion. There are unexpected mixes of materials and prints, mostly florals. There are also surface embellishments of exceptional quality and varied provenance: lace, sequins, macramé, beading, and embroidery developed in collaboration with French, Swiss, and Italian ateliers. This profusion of prints, materials, and handcrafted textures lends each piece a richness and complexity that is best appreciated up close; yet from afar, these elements lend an undefinable dimension.
Spring shoes are high and substantial, with a cutaway platform, squared toe, and hefty heel. Jewelry made of sterling silver and enamel reflects the geometric aspect of the tailored silhouette, with faceted planes and glossy expanses of black, white, and peach. Hand-woven nappa handbags, by contrast, look seemingly unfinished, with a rough-hewn sensibility that belies the workmanship involved in their making. Of special note this season is the Studio bag, a reinterpretation of the classic briefcase. With a top handle and shoulder strap, it is an eccentric combination of competence and chic.
“It’s easy for a woman to dress in a way that sends a simple message: serious or sexy or bohemian or whatever,” says Creative Director Tomas Maier. “It’s much harder to come across in a multifaceted way. For spring, we wanted to make clothes that blur the lines, that offer a more complex idea. These are clothes for women who’d rather not be summed up in a word or two.”