These days, what's significant about Alberta Ferretti's collections comes at the end of her shows, when she sends out her victory parade of long dresses. Dramatically framed in a spotlight, they embody the drift toward a less eroticized, more fragile special-occasion prettiness that appeals to Young Hollywood. Sex-bomb bling is definitively over.
The fashion news from this collection was compressed into that last sequence: Empire line, traily grosgrain bows beneath the bust, pale chiffon draped over opaque linings, and a vague glance in the direction of an arty, early twentieth-century Poiret-influenced silhouette.
As for the buildup to this finale, it too was a light run-through of 1900's Arts and Crafts referencesa train of thought instigated by last season's excursion into the Wiener Werkstätte at Louis Vuitton. There were loose, color-blocked dresses (Milan is rejecting the waist, by the way) made from panels of pleated chiffon and charmeuse, as well as painted ivy leaf and checkerboard motifs co-opted from Viennese café tile designs. Nothing scarily intellectual, of coursebut Ferretti has found a clever way to seize the moment.