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A class act in Milan fashion at Bottega Veneta

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MILAN, Italy - Tomas Maier, designer for Bottega Veneta, is a class act. Whether sporty or sensual, short or long, muted or coloured, his clothes are always elegant.

In this round for his fall-winter 2009-2010 collection, shown during Milan fashion week ending Tuesday, he managed to make bras inserted in super-soft dresses look ladylike.

The same was true of the bare backs of some of his silken sheaths, adorned with chains that far from vulgar looked like dainty rear-view necklaces.

Maier's outerwear was made up of leather trench coats, lightweight shearling or just plain, luxuriously simple cashmere.

The quiet Bottega Veneta winter palette comes in muted browns and soft creams livened by subtle shades of purple.

Maier, whose first love are accessories, showed a bag with almost every outfit in either reptile or leather, in traditional shapes, but smaller than the bags of recent seasons.

The latest Bottega Veneta shoe is a high-heeled bootie decorated with signature leather straps. Glitzy jewelry, from the growing Bottega Veneta collection, adorned many outfits.

The designer summed up his fashion philosophy in his show notes.

"For my customer, the conventions of glamour are only interesting if she can make them her own," the designer wrote.

Read that: my customer is a true lady.

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