Reality is merely a concept for Kean Etro. He is a master at creating new worlds. For spring, the Kingdom of Kean was Etropicalia, a jungly place outside time (such are Kean's powers of persuasion that the venue itself felt hotter and brighter as the show wore on). And not just outside time, but outside fashion, too, because Kean Etro is a law unto himself, evolving with little heed to what is happening elsewhere in Milan. Though the introductory "son et lumière" promised a back-to-nature trip, the first outfit was actually a very civilized gray marl suit, worn with a paisley shirt, bow tie, and trilby, followed in rapid succession by more of the tailored stripes, checks, and paisleys that are signatures of the urban Etro dandy.
Kean is too canny to fuss with this successful formula. But then he began to warm to his theme. Floral prints were blurry, like they'd been left out in a tropical rainstorm (applied to knitwear, the technique looked a little like tie-dye). Straw was woven into shoes, raffia into waistcoats. A jute blazer had its half-belted sobriety shaken up by the big flower graffitied on its back. And shirts were overprinted with huge glossy petals. Etro's experiments with fabric also yielded jackets and cabans washed in coffee (another subtle tie-dyed effect). A sunny passage toward the end of the show offered response to that retailer who complained earlier in the week about the lack of swimwear in a season that hasn't always had summer on its mind. Q: Why is a bathing suit like a bus? A: Because you can wait forever, then ten come along at once.