Bottega Veneta looks project strength and decision

COLLEEN BARRY Associated Press Published:

MILAN (AP) -- Bottega Veneta's looks for women next winter project strength and decision.

Creative director Tomas Maier's collection was precisely constructed, with blunt pleats, ruffles and draping that created both volume and movement while enhancing the figure.

Materials define the fall-winter 2013-14 collection previewed Saturday, the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week. Maier worked with wool to create new looks, from plush to felty to subdued.

"The collection is about proportion, precision, ease and the simple beauty of the material," Maier said in collection notes.

Coats, which led off the collection, were belted with thin leather strips or ribbons, the look finished with fine leather gloves. Architectural structuring catches the eye from a distance, and detailing like raised decorative piping keeps the viewer enthralled from a closer view.

Hemlines were modest, falling just below the knee, and pretty overlays formed precisely tailored skirts that still projected a freedom of movement. Felt dresses featured squared shoulders and surprising decorative bursts in mustard, red and brown created from pieces of leather, silk and satin.

Pants were roomy and worn at three-quarter length, paired with satiny blouses with artful folds.

Colors tended toward the dark, black and grays, with flashes of red, yellow and curry.

Shoes were inspired by a men's loafer or lace-up booties with chunky heels, and some interesting details like tabs on the back of the heels. Bags were smaller than in seasons past, with no handles, and made of woolens mixed with napa leather and decorated with raffia.

While most runways have shown long hair left slightly wavy or pulled back, Maier's models sported voluminous styles, which from a flat crown burst out into fizzy curls.