Bottega Veneta Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

While other designers look outward for inspiration, finding creative ammunition in Jazz Age flappers, Hawaiian floral and tribal prints, Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier looks inward, finding that the most consistent and surefire location to hunt down inspiration is in works of art themselves. He shares that same love of other artists with stateside wunderkind Jason Wu, whose fall collection was inspired by Robert Polidori’s ‘Parcours Museologique Revisite’. Maier’s fall campaign for Bottega Veneta, coincidentally enough, was shot by the photographer himself, the suddenly hot-in-fashion Mr. Polidori. Catch all that?

For spring Maier expanded on fall’s painterly ensembles, only this time edge factors into the picture. For the brand-true sensuality, the opening bustier dresses in vibrant purple, gem green and blue with plisse skirts and the final swathed gowns should do the trick.

Still, it was the edge factor that made this an original and noteworthy outing for the house. A purple sheer shirt-dress with leather insets suggested a kinky elegance. Those same swatches of leather on a pleated black skirt felt completely different, bordering on British Mod when offset by a geometric printed knit. One certifiably fresh introduction to the Bottega lexicon were those colored and teased jeans that had a graphic chiaroscuro effect that looked very fresh when layered with a tailored jacket and an oversized fringe scarf.

The best of the youth-tinged pieces was a black top with leather chevrons in 80s nostalgic blue and brown swatches over a black leather skirt paneled by an even darker leather inset on the front. The dashiki tops also have to be noted, both the leather paneled and beaming silk versions. They both looked particularly in touch with what the street sensible fashionistas are looking to wear these days. They also felt more forward-thinking than the admittedly impressive dresses with sensuous architectural tailored lines covering the bodices. Those inspired awe, but its not necessarily anything new. London-based designer Felicity Brown has made a career out of those carefully structured and tiered dresses for years now.

So, apart from a few get-ups in the former half of the lineup, those plastic inset sheaths to be precise, there was barely a garment here that wasn’t worth a good gushing over. Bottega Veneta always makes clothes to be coveted, but Maeir found a way to get the hip factor in there too.