June 24, 2012 Milan
The waves of color that determined the show's rhythm flowed from blue via red to white, symbolizing, according to Kean, "the attainment of a state of serenity and light." And, in the vein of the Eastern philosophy that rhythm so clearly referenced, the collection was a return to paisley's Kashmiri roots. Rather than the masculine hyper-tailoring that has been a traditional house signature, there were soft, flowing pieces that were much more androgynous. Jewel-toned silks were cut into loose trousers and long kurta-like tops. The paisley pattern was exploded or faded away to nothing, embroidered or overdyed. There were braided military jackets which suggested that Kean might be spinning a yarn of life on the old Indian frontier. (One of his notes referred to clothes suitable for a party at an embassy, which is a 19th-century notion if ever we saw one.) A passage of striped cottons looked plain-and-simple fresh by comparison.
A question hovered at show's end: What would the traditional Etro dandy make of this silken be-turbaned fantasia? One imagines that, unfazed, he'd simply tamp down his opium pipe and puff on.