Italian designer Alberta Ferretti has been dubbed Milan's resident "queen of chiffon," and her signature flowing, diaphanous goddess gowns have entranced Hollywood and women in search of the romantic, ethereal look for more than 30 years. Her eveningwear confections, which have graced the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Salma Hayek, are known for their expert draping and refined feminine embellishments like crystal jeweling, gauzy layers, and accordion pleats. Since 2001, Ferretti's collection has included beachwear, accessories, and underwear.
The daughter of a dressmaker, Ferretti spent her early childhood playing in the atelier, cutting and sewing fabrics just like the seamstresses who surrounded her. At 18, she opened a boutique in the resort town of Cattolica on the Adriatic coast. Alongside labels like Versace, Giorgio Armani, and Krizia, Ferretti began selling her own designs, which soon developed a cult following. In 1981, she debuted her collection on the Milan runway and three years later launched a diffusion line, which would become Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti.
Not content to focus solely on her own operations, Ferretti partnered with her brother Massimo to form the company Aeffe, which today produces and distributes designs for such houses as Jean Paul Gaultier, Moschino, Basso & Brooke, and Pollini.
In 1998, Italian president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro nominated Ferretti for the Cavaliere del Lavoro, an honor given to those who have wielded considerable economic and social influence in the country.
Alberta Ferretti: Spring 2009
Runway, backstage, and front-row footage from the Milan show.