MILAN - Superlatives don't work with Tomas Maier, a designer of discretion, just like his collections for Bottega Veneta.
And yet one is tempted is to gush over his latest menswear collection presented Sunday morning, the second day of the four-day preview showings for next winter. The streamlined look of the collection fits in with the general message coming off the current Milan runway to keep things classic. Subtle details are what make all the difference.
In his show notes, the designer said he wants "no fuss, no gimmicks, but a richness that reflects the world we all work in."
The basic silhouette is a tailored suit cut close to the body in either single-, double-breasted, or three-piece styles. However, the jacket might have a skinny lapel, or no lapel, and the buttoning could be asymmetric while the buttons themselves might be covered in fabric. Sporty outerwear becomes sophisticated when fashioned in suiting fabrics, and worn with vests and dress shirts. A simple grey flannel suit is spiffed up by a patterned shirt and tie.
Maier's latest detail twist is to reinvent classic suiting fabrics, by creating new tweeds, woven in cotton or wool and incorporated in the fabric. These new wool prints are all designed by the Bottega Veneta team. Materials in the collection include lightweight flannel, cashmere and worsted wool, as well as super supple leather.
The warm winter palette compensates the rigour of the styles: plum, soft green and muted bronze, along with deep greys and blues, and all season black.
The preferred shoe is the classic loafer. Here too detail makes the difference, combining leather, suede and crocodile, while still keeping the look casual. Patterned and printed socks liven up the footwear.
Next winter's bag is bulky, but business like, a sort of leather corporate carpet bag.