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BOTTEGA VENETA CRUISE 2018

For Cruise 2018, Bottega Veneta presents a collection featuring bold, uplifting colors, intricate details, and breathtaking botanical prints. The results are women’s and men’s looks that personify a relaxed elegance.

A plethora of intense, stunning shades permeate the collection. The women’s palette is led by burnt oranges, deep reds and pinks, dark navy and moss, burgundy and espresso, which go together in a most unusual and surprising way. “Nothing is tone on tone, or matchy-matchy,” explains Creative Director Tomas Maier. The men’s palette dips more into neutral territory than women’s does, but even the subdued pieces receive their own vivid punch, whether it be a red cardigan or bag, a cobalt blue knapsack-even a bright white pant.

Among the materials featured are Nappa leather, suedes of calf and lamb, which appears in various forms, including nabuk, shearling and knit, which, when sewn together, create a texture that is both divinely soft and functionally reversible. Luxurious fabrics, such as double face cashmere and tech duchesse make strong appearances, but the majority of the collection features breezier, lighter fabrics like cotton drill and poplin, triacetate crepe and jersey knits, which bestow a nearly liquid-like appearance, thanks to excellent tailoring.

The masterpieces of the season are the botanical prints that grace a significant portion of the collection. Wildflowers, field grass and butterflies seemingly swaying in the breeze adorn everything from shift dresses to tech duchesse skirts, cashmere cardigans to windbreakers, even bags and boots.

“It’s a very tricky process since there are so many colors of shading within the flowers,” notes Mr. Maier. “Normally, you have two or four, but these prints often have over 30 colors. The shapes they appear on are very simple, so that removes any preciousness, and maintains a kind of restraint.”

Even the base of the printed pieces required masterful consideration; Mr. Maier and his team painstakingly labored to achieve an appearance akin to antiquated parchment paper, but here, duchesse, cashmere and snake skin stand in for the parchment. “It’s crazy,” he says. “But the result is something very special.”

Prints also turn up in the form of the butterfly, a Bottega Veneta heritage symbol. Dozens of them fluttering about adorn a dress’s neckline, then dissipate as the eye moves downward. “It’s as if a butterfly got lost,” explains Mr. Maier. “The fabric is treated in two tone, and the contrasted effect really stands out.”

Bottega Veneta Cruise Collection 2018

A profusion of bags is offered in vibrant tones of cobalt, bright pink and fiery red. Two new shapes make their debuts: The Chain Knot, which Mr. Maier extended in size to accommodate a few more essentials, and the Piazza bag, a new silhouette that possesses a refined modern air, and comes with both a long shoulder strap and a shorter grip-able handle.

Finally,  pulled from the archives of 2002 is the return of the Loop, updated with new hardware. Heels dominate in an array of pumps, from a patent calf botanical print Mary Jane and lace-up boot to a more classic black Nappa version with delicate intrecciato detail. Men can choose from a number of two-toned document cases, multi hues of the Brick Knapsack and dark duffels, while a loafer and white calf sneaker round out the shoe selection. Rings, bracelets and earrings featuring pale brown stones accent the looks.

Attention to detail is ubiquitous: playful geometric touches adorn the edge of a purse, a tennis stripe stretches down a pant leg, striped socks juxtapose a botanical print Mary Jane pump, with knee-flirting hemlines allowing the shoe and sock their moment.

“At this time of year, it’s beginning to get dark outside earlier, and I think about what the customer wants to wear,” explains Creative Director Tomas Maier. “These uplifting colors are antidotes for this time of year.”

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