Despite the prevalence of e-commerce today, many of the leading fashion brands have still been reluctant to sell online but it looks like that's about to change. Today PPR reportedly signed a letter of intent with Italian online retailer, Yoox SpA, to set up a site to see their brands' collections.
The letter is non-binding but what it does show that the fashion conglomerate is seriously planning to commit to an e-commerce venture, which naturally includes their brands like Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent and Balenciaga. 'PPR and Yoox intend to continue negotiations with the aim of closing a definitive agreement in the comings months,' a source from the company told Bloomberg in an email. The new venture is part of PPRs bigger plan to reach 1 billion euros worth of online sales by 2012.
Compared to womenswear, menswear is quite a small playground to work in but that's what makes it so interesting. Designers are forced to work with tailoring but in new and exciting ways and that's exactly what Thomas Maier achieved at Bottega Veneta this season.
His focal point was firstly all about playing with the surface and this resulted in jackets that came with abstract coloured panels and interesting plastic-like fabrics which really breathed life into the classic suit. Shape was also a key feature of the collection with Maier deliberately cropping jackets and elongating the shoes to create a streamline effect. The pieces fit so closely to the body like a second skin in the way that has become synonymous with rock 'n' roll so I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the big bands sporting them in the months to come.
The Bottega Veneta collection was a bit hit and miss this season. As always, the handbags were strong and extra luxe coming in crocodile, ostrich skin and natural lizard and dresses were a combination of the classic pieces you would expect from the brand alongside more experimental pieces but there were quite a few anomalies thrown in there too.
The show opened with a series of bustier spaghetti strapped printed styles in shades like green and blue and as the collection progressed, Thomas Maier got more playful with them as he played with sheer panelling and leather on long sleeved styles that felt fresh and interesting. Shiny leather also came on a dark grey dress and also on a softly printed skirt teamed with a printed knitted top that worked.
But there were a handful of rogue looks to like one featuring slouched patchwork jeans with a long fringed scarf and a relaxed fit blazer. If you're questioning where Bottega Veneta and streetwear meet, you're on my wave length. A purple fringed scarf teamed with a matching sequin top styled under a brown cropped leather jacket was equally as baffling but it wasn't too bad. The bright colour dresses that appeared towards the end of the collection that came printed with soft pleating and others with knot details around the neckline were chic and effortless but in a playful way and the mesh overlay details along the bottom of dresses added a different spin on the brand's otherwise classic aesthetic.
The Bottega Veneta collection was luxury at its best. The show began with Thomas Maier showing ultra feminine two piece skirts suits and jackets in bright hues like an orange boxy style teamed with a classic ivory top and a skirt in a lighter shade of orange that sat just above the knee.
Tapping into all things 'Mad Men' and 60's, Maier also presented stand out pieces like a pink and orange striped mohair coat teamed with white tights and the models hair came in classy up-dos. Inspired by the female form, Maier took inspiration from curvy actress Monica Vitti who stared in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1964 film, 'Red Desert;.
The second part of the collection was all about rich fabrics, playful prints and rich colours. Dresses all came nipped at the waist styled with cardigans both in interesting prints in shades of gold, forest greens and browns. That aside, what stood out were the selection of exquisitely crafted strapless corseted gowns that are screaming for their Oscar moments tomorrow night.
We're big fans of Bottega Veneta...really big fans. So you can imagine our delight when the brand announced that they're venturing into the fragrance world yesterday.
Nine d'Urso - daughter of Karl Lagerfeld's muse Inés de la Fressange - will front the scent's campaign, set to be shot by Bruce Weber. "I chose Nine to introduce this fragrance because there is something classically elegant about her, yet she is totally modern," Tomas Maier, the brand's creative director. "She conveys a sense of heritage worn lightly but with respect."
It was all about easy luxury at Bottega Veneta yesterday - a fitting theme considering Thomas Maier's concern for creating luxury everyday clothes. "I don't like making clothes for red-carpet events," the designer told Style.com. "I like real life."
Jumpsuits in champagne silk and dresses cinched in at the waist all came in a relaxed loose fit. A white skirt came intentionally creased with an equally crumpled grey top tucked in. The collection often eared on the sportswear side too showing undone tomboy-like jackets with slouchy trousers. If this new relaxed feeling wasn't clear enough, models walked the runway with damp hair and simply leather sandals making them look like they'd just ran out of the house after jumping out of the shower.
But the collection was not without the brands signature luxury sensibility. Flashes of colour appeared on oversized bags in lime green in heavyweight fabrics and other bags came woven with feathers and exotic skins contrasting the relaxed feeling in the collection; and amongst these slouched pieces came boxy tailored single breasted jackets in white with matching turn up shorts.
It's no secret that Burberry are a brand on the forefront when it comes to all things online. Last season, jackets from the collection were immediately made available for customers to buy and this season Bottega Veneta are following suit but in a different way. Instead of allowing everyone to watch their show - set to be livestreamed on Saturday - only a select group will be able to see it live and buy pieces from the collection instantly.
The brand explained the move in a recent announcement:
For the first time, Bottega Veneta is offering a livestream of its spring runway show to top customers globally. The livestream presentation of the Spring-Summer 2011 runway show, to be held on Saturday, September 25th, at 9:30 in the morning, will be available by invitation only. The special presentation is being offered as a service to top customers. For invited guests unable to travel to Milan, the livestream ensures they will not miss the show. For others, it’s an opportunity to see the collection as it premieres, in a virtual front-row seat within the serene and sophisticated world of bottegaveneta.com.
The experience extends beyond the livestream presentation. Guests who view the show will have the opportunity to reserve Spring 2011 merchandise immediately by consulting with a Bottega Veneta personal shopper. When the merchandise arrives in store, customers will be contacted to arrange a fitting or can choose to have their purchases sent to them directly. Guests invited to watch the livestream will also receive a digital lookbook directly following the show.
If you find you don't have the time to pour over the latest catwalk shows, spotting the biggest trends for Fall 2010 - don't panic. We've attended the fashion shows and designer presentations, spent hours obsessing over runway shots and videos to bring you our pick of the bunch, our Fall Favourites. Need to know this season's hottest colours, materials, looks? We have it covered. Look no further than our six chosen trends: grey, leather, military, neutrals, shearling and velvet.