It began with Raf Simons' sexy take on deconstruction at Jil Sander, when he laid bare the whole messy creative process and showed us the passion behind a frayed edge and a slashed skirt. And it continued Saturday at Bottega Veneta, where Tomas Maier was just as carefree, but much more calm.
In the notes, Maier described the collection as "architectural," but "organic" might have been a better word, because the back-to-basics looks seemed to flow into one another. "The clothes are 'blank' until she puts them on,' Maier wrote in the show notes. "Then the shape of her body, her movements, and the color of her shoes, her bag, her jewelry--all these personal characteristics and choices complete the look."
That meant summer clothes with the ease of uniforms in a clean palette of white, ivory and straw. Dresses were not embellished, but instead draped and wrapped with asymmetrical folds at the neckline or at the hips, creating side pockets. Pants and shorts were cut square and roomy, some with folds creating an obi belt effect at the waistlines.
Maier designs in broad strokes. So rather than throwing everything in the junk drawer on a dress, decorative details amounted to a single sculptural frill in a contrasting shade of yolk yellow, fever red or Delft blue.
It wasn't minimalism, but individualism -- letting the woman wear the clothes instead of the clothes wear the woman, and it was a breath of fresh air.
-- Booth Moore
Photo: A look from Bottega Veneta's Spring/Summer 2010 women's RTW collection, shown Saturday during Milan Fashion Week. Photo credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times