Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier kicked off the resort season with a collection that was appealing, not only because it seems like decades since we’ve laid eyes on lightweight clothing. An exceptionally long winter in the Northeast kept us bundled in wool and so much in fashion recently has gone the way of heavy, unwieldy fabrics. Not Maier, not now. The concise, 20-look presentation he put together consisted of effortless dresses, skirts, and featherweight sweaters that carried the signature BV elegance. Dark-cotton poplin dresses had roomy sleeves and knots at the waist that made it look as if you could have simply grabbed the nearest swath of perfect material and wrapped it around yourself. Loose slip dresses were covered in matte sequins printed with an almost undetectable marbleized pattern in reds, oranges, and corals.
They were sliced open at the sides and connected via ties and a matching strip of fabric. Several pieces, including a deep-blue sundress and an off-white shirt, were adorned with hand-cut lace that’s artfully destroyed. The treatments lent the effect of pretty clothes dealt with irreverently. A graphic-print sheath with crochet overlay? Blot red paint all over it. Same goes for the ivory long-sleeved sweater, except dipped in ink this time, so the hem and bottom half of the sleeves were saturated. Now, obviously a lot more technical expertise went into the actual execution of these clothes, but—and maybe this is the influence of the recently opened “Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—there’s something alluring about the idea of wearing things that look like you’ve manipulated them yourself and made them your own. Of course it’s even better if someone as skillful as Maier has already done it for you.