Once upon a time, in the Edenic innocence of the pre-digital age, little girls dreamed of being beautiful princesses. Alberta Ferretti got back to the garden with her new collection of floating floral chiffons. It was a departure from the luxe lady look she's been offering for the past few seasons, but "women want to change," Ferretti insisted backstage. "Fantasy is so important."
Here, that fantasy was cast as a vision of fairy-tale femininity. Its key component was a sheer, floor-sweeping dress strewn with flora and paired with flat rope sandals and the occasional wide-brimmed straw hat to underscore the prelapsarian prettiness. Ferretti offered multiple versions: one softly pleated like a Fortuny gown, another in raw-edged tiers with Guinevere sleeves, or tied in back like a frontier woman's Sunday best. The organic, relaxed mood was sustained by the designer's use of lace and crochet, sometimes all at once, like the lace smock with the crochet midriff.
There was a hint of eccentricity in this uncompromising commitment to romance and fantasy. Though Ferretti sought balance in the more "urban" pieces—a white trench, a Bermuda shorts suit, a natural python vest—the scales couldn't help but tip toward those long, diaphanous gowns. And while she was quick to point out that her new designs were about "a normal woman, not a star," it wasn't hard to imagine the fantasy sweeping away Ferretti fans like Sarah Jessica Parker and January Jones.