Bottega Veneta Fall 2012 Review

Bottega Veneta Fall 2012

Photo: Imaxtree

Bottega Veneta Fall 2012

SHOW: Bottega Veneta (See the full collection.)

ACCESSORIES: Strapped and laced high-heeled shoes in a patchwork of colors and textures, leather frame handbags and clutches in a rainbow of leathers

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Strict and precise, but undeniably seductive

Tomas Maier's Bottega Veneta isn't usually about bodycon—it's about crafty, antsy doodles of fabric around the body, some kooky textile treatment you'd rather drape on your wall than your back, and plenty of intricate, incredible expensive bags to drool over.

This Fall season, he decided to do something different, creating covered-up but fitted silhouette. "Sleek" was Maier's own word for it, along with "powerfully physical." That gives the impression of a ball-busting Iron Lady, whereas in actual fact Maier's proposition was as refined and elegant as always.

As with so many in Milan, Maier went dark for Fall—but it wasn't a black-out, mixing maroon, navy blue and evergreen with a few autumnal highlights of burnt umber, mauve or teal. The textiles were innovative, three-dimensional effects achieved with velvet embroideries, fraying and even burning.

But, unlike previous Bottega Veneta seasons, they were only part of the story, playing second fiddle to the fitted silhouettes and Maier's ample grasp of what women want to wear at every part of the day. Sophistication was key, from faultless day suits through to velvet column-dresses with peplums creating volume on the hips. A sinuous, sensual vision of modern dressing, and undoubtedly Maier's finest collection to date.