MILAN (AP) — A beloved sweater left on a deck chair washes away in a storm, only to be returned much later with the tides, alongside driftwood and smoothed pieces of glass. Reclaimed, it is like a wish fulfilled.
This lovingly distressed look is built into the Bottega Veneta menswear collection for next summer, which premiered Sunday on the second day of Milan Fashion Week. The silhouette has a relaxed vibe, from the loose-fitting sweaters that drape the body casually, to crinkled linen suits with pants that gather at the knee as if pushed up to wade into the surf. These looks are not only fit for a wind-swept beach, but they also appear well-worn and weathered in a way that suggests durability and wardrobe-favorite status.
Creative director Tomas Maier employs inventive stitching to build the appearance of natural wear-and-tear into the architecture of the pieces, including frayed elbows. Athletic wear is soft, with comfortable leggings and wide-legged shorts, to invite movement.
Maier's palette is sun-washed and pale, anchored by dark blue. Men's hair is tussled, worn with a black headband. Snug-fit slippers give sure-footed access to rocky shores, or city sidewalks. Bottega Veneta's classic woven leather bags come as a backpack that converts to a cross-bag. More casual canvas bags also make an appearance.
Maier said in the show notes that he wanted "to convey a certain freedom, athleticism and ease."