The latest Bottega Veneta collection is inspired by the pullover — or as creative director Tomas Maier puts it — "a top that you pull over your head."
In his fashion notes for the summer 2013 menswear collection presented Sunday, the designer points out that the pullover is a universal piece that can be found in both traditional and contemporary cultures and is worn by such diverse people as sailors, fishermen, soldiers and mountain climbers.
What Maier fails to add is that a Bottega Veneta pullover is not just any pullover. The designer puts into this seemingly simple attire the manufacturing expertise, the fabric and the attention to detail which make the difference.
Many of his summer pullovers are actually tunics. They come in light wool or cotton silk and casually caress the body, giving the impression of effortless elegance. Sometimes these tunics are worn with comfortable cropped trousers; at other times their hemline hangs down from the jacket of a cotton suit.
Many of this season's Bottega Veneta shirt/pullovers have a lace-up front reminiscent of frontier buckskin garb, especially when they come in super-soft suede and are paired with fringed ankle boots. A V-neck cashmere pullover has side-seam zips for extra freedom.
The summer silhouette is sporty without losing its class. Jackets and trousers have a classic fit. Colors — unlike the garish shades seen on a number of the current menswear runways — are calm tones of brown, from beige to tobacco, or a quiet series of blues.
Maier also leaves loud prints to his colleagues, preferring a delicate floral print which fades into the fabric of his jackets and pullovers or makes up the fabric of a suit or pair of pants, veiled with a subtle layer of organza. A small red leather butterfly decorates the side of a simple pair of white leather sneakers.
The renowned Bottega Veneta bags on this round are extra large and come in functional brown leather, with an elongated strap so that they can be worn across the body. It all looks so simple, and yet somehow no other designer can carry off the intricate workmanship behind the collection with such nonchalance.
As the Bottega Veneta logo goes: "When your own initials are enough."