Jan 15, 2013

Bottega Veneta menswear AW13 review

The Bottega Veneta show was scheduled at 9.30am on a Sunday morning, located inside the brand headquarters in the industrial part of Milan. We managed to arrive very early albeit the freezing and drizzly winter weather. Ashley Thng, the brand PR from Singapore greeted and brought us around the complex. Model-looking ushers approached and held a large black umbrella for us as we made our way into the building - an experience which felt very much like a Downton Abbey moment to us. Once inside, we headed to the cafeteria in the showroom-turned-lounge space for a quick cup of freshly brewed Italian espresso.

Hafidz then made his way into the photographer’s pit (already like a pro this time ;P) while I waited outside mingling with media people from all over the world. Amongst the crowd I could see was the brand president, Mr. Marco Bizzari, deep in conversation with American medias in a very classic expressive Italian manner, hand gestures and all. The show note promised a collection focusing on suit tailoring and its modern permutations. To quote the Creative Director, Mr. Tomas Maier himself: “No fuss, no gimmick, but a richness that reflects the world we all work in”...

Classic winter silhouette in the form of outerwear layered with business suit and tailored shirt entered the runway, some in muted palette. We noticed during the re-see that the variety of coats have different hem lengths. “As different people have different height where their torsos are’, explained Mr. Maier. This feels like a democratic collection, it seems.

There were some amazing knitwear offerings too. Double-bonded cashmere jumpers with large-checkered pattern envisage playfulness albeit still in a controlled manner, perfect for a Bottega Veneta consumer.

Mr. Tomas also played with a lot of textures for this collection. Luxurious wool, cashmere, incredibly soft shearling and of course the best material the house is known for – leather. This time around the fabric is exquisitely made into a formal suit both in a double-breasted and a two-button. There’s this sheer amount of suppleness and fluidity in the fabric that is more evident in movement, which exudes the quiet luxury that not many brands can execute without screaming pretention.

As a whole the collection proves that men could still have all the fun in dressing up, yet still remain classic and simple at the same time. The proofs: little tweaks of details, like adding a thin line of beading on the notch lapel of an otherwise ordinary-looking tuxedo suit or that leather side panels on a cardigan. The leather accessories that this label is originally known for are painfully luxe (with exotic skin and whatnot) and need no introduction. Needless to say they are good compliments to the clothes extravagance. I particularly like the addition of leather panel onto some of the shoes, which on first glance unassumingly resemble a pair of socks!

During our visit to the showroom, we were also introduced to the lower-priced range leather goods offering from the brand. Instead of applying the signature Intrecciato technique (the artful leather-weaving technique that BV is popularly known for) in the making of the items, the skin is embossed, thus the affordability of the range. This is marketed as an entry-point product which I find very timely to be introduced as there are more and more high-income younger people with a yearning for luxury these days, so I believe this will strongly appeal to them. 

We were fortunate enough to have a sneak peek of the Women’s Pre-Fall collection that is not released yet as of the time of writing. Understandably we were not allowed to take photos of the collection but I believe they will be launched in no time. Suffice to say the items in that collection have an analogous feel to AW13 menswear...

Words by Arman Shahril
Edited by Hafidzudin Zainal
Photos by Hafidzudin Zainal

Sit tight now as our next review is the highly-anticipated Prada Autumn/Winter 2013 collezione!

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