I'm still a bit shocked by what Tomas Maier delivered during Bottega Veneta's Spring 2010 RTW collection preview at Milan Fashion Week. It's evident Maier, BV's creative director, is attempting to take Bottega Veneta accessories in a new direction, but, for goodness sake, not this direction. With only a handful of exceptions, the rest of the collection was made up of some pretty fugly bags. I hate to use that term to describe a Bottega Veneta anything, but if the shoe fits...
This collection has everything from sumptuous leathers to exotics like lizard and croc skins, but, frankly, who cares? Most of the designs are wacky. One hobo sports intrecciato fringe and reminds me of the alien from Predator after he removes his special helmet at the end of the film. Not a mental image I'd ever associate with this iconic Italian fashion label. There are other offenders that look like place mats or pieces of the geodome at EPCOT. In other words, they're fugly.
On the bright side, there are a few designs that were nothing short of spectacular. A gorgeous aqua blue croc-clad tote (grass-green and dark brown versions were also previewed), quilted ivory shoulder bag and relaxed, desert tan satchel are exactly what we've come to expect from Maier and Bottega Veneta. This is not to say that the bags are boring or predictable. On the contrary, the detailing on each bag offers a departure from BV's classic intrecciato the way it should be done - with sophistication and restraint. Bottega Veneta is what it is. I hope Tomas Maier remembers that when he crafts their next collection.