Italy's Bottega Veneta comes to New York Fashion Week

NEW YORK — The Italian brand Bottega Veneta made its debut Friday at New York Fashion Week with the help of Gigi Hadid on the runway and Salma Hayek on the front row, skipping the traditional finale for models lounging on a set designed as a swanky apartment.

The company came to town for one season only (it usually shows in Milan) to mark the opening of its Maison flagship housewares and furniture store on Madison Avenue. Hence, the company's chairs, couches and other pieces mixed with vintage furnishings at the cavernous American Stock Exchange Building downtown.

On the runway, with Hayek joined in the crowd by Julianne Moore and Priyanka Chopra, the company showed fall and winter collections for both men and women, from floral silk pajamas worthy of lounging in such a space to a black velvet lace dress with diamond cutouts for Hadid.

She joined the company's creative director, Tomas Maier, at the end.

Bottega Veneta said in show notes that the building, in a Renaissance Revival style with Art Deco elements, was chosen to showcase the company's Italian roots and its New York coming out.

Of his multicolored coats, animal prints for shirts and soft evening dresses, Maier said he wanted to express the "real bravery and boldness" of New Yorkers.

"Nothing stops them. Nothing seems impossible," he said.

That meant, for some of his models, a touch of fur and some soft evening dresses in satin and silk. But it was some of the men who scored big. One walked in a bright orange suit and another in a hipster plaid purple jacket with a tiger print back collar. Still another had on comfy black loafers over yellow socks, wearing narrow-cut black trousers paired with coat of many colors (green, yellow, red and gray among them) in a bold geometric design.

These apartment loungers must eventually hit the New York City streets. There were poppy wool jackets, multicolored shearling coats and cashmere sweaters for that. Maier didn't forget the toll this concrete jungle often takes on the feet, adding for good measure what he described for women as "statement-making boots on a pavement-friendly low heel."

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