Bottega Veneta F/W 2016
Bottega Veneta F/W 2016

Getting up early on a Saturday morning to make a 9:30 AM fashion show isn’t easy, and that’s just for those watching. Models and stylists were up even earlier, making their way through the cool darkness of Milan. Clouds fill the sky and rain is inevitable this morning. Sitting with a flavorful cappuccino and perhaps warm bread would be much more comfortable, but there are things to do, clothes to see, responsibilities to fulfill. We call this “adulting” and that is exactly what Tomas Maier had in mind when he designed this fall/winter collection.

Maier isn’t always this serious. His spring/summer collections especially tend to be more playful, and we’ve seen a few fall collections that were brighter and a bit more light-hearted. Maier is feeling more serious this season, though, getting down to real business with a set of very strong suits and dresses that are classically styled and very professional in their demeanor, even when the silhouette flirts with being a bit sexy. These are clothes for adults, thank you.

Starting with dark, solid colored suits (with one beautiful winter white piece stuck between them), Maier sticks with what works. Masculine tailoring for both coats and trousers is matched with knit sweaters providing both a tactile and colorful contrast. Note that the long scarves match the jackets. Pieces to these ensembles are very carefully put together, creating an aesthetic of power and authority.

Fairly quickly, the looks move more toward tweeds and tartans and checks, the signature knits for which the house is known and Maier has perfected. Darker shades of yellow and green and blue merge with the foundational black and brown, punctuated by the occasional animal print. There is one larger sweater with a floral design woven in, a lighter take perhaps intended for that office that still insists on casual Fridays, but most stay with a horizontal weave that, at most, implements a light to dark color gradient as it moves from top to bottom.

There are a couple of times when Maier steps out of pure business mode. A black suit with the coat left open reveals a skin-baring and sexy top underneath. A purple suit in crushed velvet would almost be whimsical were it not for the serious tailoring and lines that might as well say, “Hey, focus on what we’re doing here.” There are some after-5 pieces with sheer blouses, but even when the bodice hints as something sexy, the sharply pleated skirt keeps the look from being inappropriately flirtatious.

Bottega Veneta offers seriously tailored knits for strong, serious-minded women. The looks are clean and sharp, not frumpy. This is the look for the boardroom, or perhaps, running for office. Adulting isn’t always easy to do, but with Bottega Veneta in your wardrobe perhaps you won’t mind quite so much, even on a Saturday.

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