It seems that each season, some menswear designer or other can't resist the urge to put a one-piece jumpsuit on the runway. And no matter what it's made of, or how it's cut, it ends up looking ridiculous. (Not quite this ridiculous, but close.)
"I've always liked the idea of a coverall or a jumpsuit, of a single piece of clothing that works for a man the way a dress does for a woman," Bottega Veneta's creative director Tomas Maier explained in the show notes. "But a tailored jumpsuit is impractical. So we started with the idea of an all-in-one and related it to the suit."
The resulting silhouette is neat, precise and pared back -- sleeves are fitted, trousers are tapered, and traditional collar points jettisoned in favor of simple Mandarin collars. And in looks where the jackets and trousers were of the same color, did very much resemble a one-piece coverall.
Paring the silhouette back to its bare minimum afforded Maier the opportunity to experiment to his heart's content with what he put on it -- and he clearly had a field day layering on various prints, patterns and treatments.
Seersuckers and shirt checks were overprinted, stripes were layered on stripes, twills were printed to resemble tweeds, checks were printed on leather, and streaky, wiggly lines that looked like wood grain were printed on sweaters.
But for all the over-printing and the patch-pocket safari jackets zipped up to the Adam's apple, the best pieces in the collection were the more traditional-looking suits -- in solid colors (muted green or a vibrant blue tourmaline), with the over-print just peeking out from a jacket or cuff.
-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Milan
Photos: Looks from the Bottega Veneta spring / summer 2012 runway collection shown during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: (Top) Pier Marco Tacca / EPA; (Middle and bottom) Olivier Morin / AFP / Getty Images.