Gianfranco Ferré's show notes explained that he began working on the Fall collection with androgyny on his mind, and today's presentation started promisingly, with clean black and navy-blue men's suits, the only feminine touches being the thin fastenings trailing loosely from the lapels of jackets. From there, though, he reverted to glamour-girl mode, turning out full-sleeved, sashed kimono jackets in all manner of fabrications (cashmere, astrakhan, that men¿s suiting fabric again), followed by sporty luxe parkas, some trimmed in fur. The layering on and embellishments reached a crescendo with a series of precious puffer vests in gold or silver, lined in fur.
His evening numbers were more streamlined, but no less dramaticmost of them were constructed from stiff metallics. Silk "so thickly creased it almost resembles Chinese lantern paper," as his program explained, made for difficult going when the dresses descended to the floor. It took a real diva like Skin, the singer who closed the show and was scheduled to perform at the after-party, to pull off the look. The material worked better cut boxy and above-the-knee. But not half as well, it must be said, as those pantsuits at the show's beginning. It would¿ve been interesting to see Ferré go with his first instincts.