Bottega Veneta Offers a Lesson in Understated Sophistication

The Bottega Veneta Fall-Winter 2017 collection captures our attention not with flash but through the combination of understated elegance, quality of materials, and meticulous craftsmanship.

When certain individuals are pilloried for posting photos with their indiscreetly labeled luxury goods on social media, could the days of ostentatious displays of wealth be over?

On the runway in the six-button double-breasted wool overcoat and suede briefcase

Whatever the answer, it really doesn’t matter to Bottega Veneta, the Italian fashion house that has steadfastly defied logo mania through the years. Thanks to the vision of German-born creative director Tomas Maier, who took over the design direction of the brand in 2001, going logoless has become the label’s defining attribute, capturing our attention not with flash but through the combination of understated elegance, quality of materials, and meticulous craftsmanship. As the fashion journalist Harriet Walker put it, the label’s success ultimately stems from Maier’s “passion for precision, perfection, and intricacy.”

Ostrich and crocodile top handle bag

Speaking about the Fall-Winter 2017 collection, presented earlier this year at Milan Fashion Week, Maier says, “It is glamorous, but in a very Bottega Veneta way. There is an ease to the sophistication, because it is natural.” On the runway, this casual panache was conveyed through the use of oversize bowties to accentuate a broad swath of the men’s collection- there’s not a necktie in sight. Known for his precise tailoring, Maier showed a variety of suit styles, punctuated with a number of tuxedo looks, from the traditional grosgrain-trimmed version to more avant-garde blousons.

Latte Napa blouson

Also of note was the selection of long, slim-fit overcoats. Featuring wide but short lapels that end at mid-torso, the double-breasted styles (with four or six buttons) fit snugly around the waist while the shoulder line is drawn slightly out. Often peeking out from under those coats were loose, off-white pants. Worn either cropped or long, they easily displayed their versatility in a number of ensembles.

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Nappa document case

As the men’s and women’s collections were unveiled on the same catwalk, it was easy to spot the contrast in the footwear.

Aluminum and acetate sunglasses

Calf slip-on loafers

While the women’s shoes for the season channeled powerful Amazonian glamour with their high heels, exotic materials, and often chunky proportions, the men’s side had a more urban, street-fashion influence. Maier played with the timeless design of Chelsea ankle boots, giving them a modern flair with a molded rubber outsole with a geometric white outline. His boat shoe-like mocassins and the creative mash-up of lace-up shoe with a monk strap are also worthy of a second look.

The leather accessories from wallets to totes are aplenty, and in all sorts of finishes, from matte leather to exotic snakeskin; you’ll want one with the intrecciato pattern, of course.

Greenbelt 4, Shangri-La Plaza East Wing; follow @ssilifeph on Instagram for more information.

This story was originally published in the October 2017 issue of Town&Country.

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Pierre A. Calasanz
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