Alberta Ferretti's slight, pretty collection confirmed her ongoing love affair with chiffon. Although the show opened with a full-skirted frock in cocoa satin smudged with a shadowy green rose printperfect for a royal garden party in the fiftiesFerretti modernized the quaint vintage look with flat sandals and a tattered wisp of chiffon engirdling the waist.
It was a taste of things to come, as the designer brought on an endless parade of airy nothings in her fetish fabric, made lighter still with the raw, unfinished edges she celebrates. Angelic little dresses were composed of layer upon layer of mousseline, like a mille-feuille pastry; or sweetened with piecrust frills; or embellished with vertical panels that wafted in the breeze from the sun-dappled park beyond the tent’s draped curtains. The audience seemed to be experiencing some collective déjà vu, perhaps because many of these dresses so closely evoked the fey frocks with which the designer closed her diffusion Philosophy line earlier this week in Milan.
Although Ferretti’s printsgiant tone-on-tone blooms with a hand-painted feel, or marbled effects like the endpapers used by Florentine bookbinderswere some of the subtlest of the spring shows, her palette conformed to the pungent color mix so popular this season. Layerings of cardigans or suede mod coats over diaphanous blouses and skirts produced arresting combinations like carrot and magenta, copper and amethyst, and peridot and cherry; and Ferretti saved the best till last with a dramatic finale of enchanting goddess gowns in ravishing Pre-Raphaelite hues.