Free-associate on the idea of the Mediterranean and you'll likely come up with sea, sun, sand, citrus, lavender, terra-cotta, and white, lots of white. The typically fulsome show notes insisted the Med was the inspiration for Kean Etro's collection, but, while it's true there was a fair amount of sea and sky blue on display—plus a sun hat or two—it didn't look like any of those other elements had crossed his mind. Even the dreamy shadow-play backdrop of swooping gulls, lighthouse, and ocean-going sloop said Maine more than Med.
But that isn't to say that this collection wasn't a winner. Etro is like a favorite dish of especially rich food. You wouldn't want to eat it always, but when you feel like it, it really hits the spot. And that was the case today. There are times when Kean soft-pedals the label's paisley heritage, but here he whole-hogged it with a killer overload of pattern and color that was strongest at its most hectic, as in a mind-bending paisley shirt tucked into searing yellow pants and wrapped up in a huge floral scarf with trailing fringes. The ideal accessory for such a look would have been an opium pipe. Unfortunately, there were none forthcoming this season.
Where the Med made its presence felt was in the lightness of the collection. Etro often gets a little too Mitteleuropa in its weightiness, and paisley's rich orientalism ensures the color palette follows suit. Maybe that state of affairs persisted to a degree today, but there was a feeling of floatiness that fought it. Though there were still suits and jackets galore, they'd been unstuffed. Some were so soft as to be pajamalike. Even better than a jacket was a floaty coat, best in paisley, but also looking good in chalk stripe over matching pants.