September 29, 2005 Milan
Etro built up slowly to the highly colored, multiprint effects that have lately become a signature of the house once famed for its autumnal paisley designs. The show opened with a natural linen coat, its hem massed with impasto embroidery that evoked Matisse cutouts. This was typical of the collection's artisanal hand detailing, which included rococo volutes of silvery sequins on a wispy chiffon skirt and jet-embroidered whorls garlanding skirts or coats. Only the accessories were simple and relatively unembellishedhigh, strappy suede sandals, and bucket bags and briefcases in natural or earthy red linen bordered and bound in black leather.
Those signature paisleys were subtly revisitedbarely perceptible this timein soft shades of pale yellow for a sunray-pleated evening dress. Meanwhile, the Romany gypsy-scarf prints allowed Etro to run riot with audacious color mixes such as purple, aqua, and cocoa, while a full-blown rose print on a thirties-inspired evening dress captured the season's passion for romantic florals.
Etro's eclectic vision also embraced the blues of the Mediterranean Sea, from soft aqua to ultramarine. And the sultry atmosphere that sea evokes was reinforced by evening gowns that suggested Alma-Tadema's ersatz Victorian take on the garb of ancient Greek and Roman lovelies.