A question mark lingered over Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi's second Gianfranco Ferré show. The label's parent company, IT Holding SpA, declared bankruptcy earlier this week, and it's not entirely certain that this collection will actually go into production. That's a shame, because the designers have demonstrated not only an appreciation for Ferré's legacy, but also an ability to finesse the trends. They evoked the late "architect of fashion" with a white off-the-shoulder blouse with a very prominent bow, but mostly focused on today's currents, channeling the eighties by way of Queen Elizabeth I. "It is a very positive association for us," said Rimondi of this season's most popular decade to reference. "It's when we were young." As for the ruffs? Simple: "We loved the Cate Blanchett movie."
They opened with a pagoda-shouldered coat with seams lined in tiny, burnished gold studs and a stand-up Elizabethan collar. A peak-shouldered jacket, jumpsuit, and dress, all in black, intermingled with the pagodas—but it wasn't just a silhouette story they were telling. Aquilano and Rimondi have an eye for texture. A pair of jackets combined bouclé, cashmere, and alpaca for a genius moiré effect. Sometimes things did get clunky. Tape and paillette embroidery weighed down one lean skirt, and a few bubble dresses nearly suffocated the willowy models. But an evening dress in bottle-green velvet, crepe marocain, and duchesse satin was as chic as anything that's come down the runway this season. Whatever happens to the house of Ferré, these two have a long future ahead of them.