It was energising to see something new in Milan: no sportswear, no 1960s, no primary colours, no loud prints.
This is the art of Tomas Maiers Bottega Veneta whatever is going on in the rest of the fashion universe, he always treads his own sure-footed path with a gentle, forever quality, that still manages to get the pulse racing, half way through the show season, at 9.30am.
He said it was an evolution from last seasons silhouettes, working on a more angular shoulder for jackets, but over all he wanted it to be more feminine, fresh and young. And confident, too. I really want women to feel confident in our clothes, he said.
The message was dresses. Floral tea dresses a padded shoulder with a short sleeve, narrow waist and just-below-knee hem, in silk or crepe, each carrying an individual flower print, in dusky shades of peach, burgundy, yellow and vintage-lingerie pink. These and the shoes high, with a hefty heel and square toe had a 1940s feel to them. Meanwhile, Martin Scorseses cult 1970s film, Taxi Driver, could be heard on the sound system so was this the 1930s as seen through the 1970s, the big era of Bottegas heritage?
He refused to be pinned down to any era backstage and rightly so, Maier isnt about to be pigeonholed by anything as obvious as a retro decade for inspiration.
Its easy for a woman to dress in a way that sends a simple message: serious or sexy or bohemian or whatever, said Maier, Its much harder to come across in a multifaceted way These are clothes for women whod rather not be summed up in a word or two.'
What Maier does is to infuse all that he makes with such a profusion of subtle prints and rich and complex hand-crafted textures that they not only become undefinable, they are even more cherished on close inspection.