MILAN (AP) — The known factor is that Bottega Veneta is a class act. Each season the surprise comes in how creative designer Tomas Maier will interpret that innate sense of style.

For the spring 2014, it's all about ruffles, bows and pleats, which Maier manages to turn from "girlie" into feminine chic.

The color palette is as understated as ever with intense darks and pale neutrals, livened up by the new pale terra-cotta, reminiscent of the facade of an old Roman palazzo faded by centuries of intense sun. There is not a single print in the collection, although light feather and generous beading appear for the evening.

The collection, as the designer says in his show notes, is more about more about the fabric than the styles, which remain minimalist sheaths, knee-length skirts and shorts. The novelty is the persistent use of cotton, usually relegated to practical wear. Maier twists it and folds it to create bold bows and accordion pleats worthy of the finest of garments.

Copper thread is woven into the cotton in nearly equal parts, making it easier to work with and creating a discreetly shiny veneer.

Top-handled frame bags in costly reptile or cotton tweed lend structure to the relaxed feel of the collection.

Footwear came in a single style, a ladylike sling back with a dainty heel.


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