Happiness in a dress – what more could you ask for?
If any designer can be relied upon to create pretty dresses it is Alberta Ferretti. She is the queen of the chiffon dress, and these appeared, as lovely as ever, at the end of the show. But before that, we were treated to bursts of colourful embroideries on pure white muslin. These dresses, sashed at the waist with ribbon belts, worn with embroidered ballet flats whose ribbons laced around the ankles, looked as if they may have been inspired by traditional Tyrolean costumes, with their bib fronts of colour, sweet nipped-at-the-waist full skirts and full blousy sleeves.
Ferretti said that her collection had been influenced by ‘the vision of countries where the sunshine shapes the culture of life’. That’s why a section – layered with air-light waterfall ruffles in black and red – recalled Spanish flamenco. Then came the panels of intricate, vibrant florals on black panels set into pretty pleats at the front or back of short skirts. Add to that the punchy bright-striped silks on simple t-shirts and short, girlish circle skirts and there was no doubt that Ferretti was choosing to celebrate ‘optimism, vitality and joy’.
For her finale, the designer whose name is so closely associated with delicate angel dresses could not resist reinstating the long wispy gowns for which she is best known. They appeared in sheer black, panelled with spider-web lace, joyful brights – tangerine, pink and emerald – before ending on long white chiffon, brightly embroidered as before. Happiness in a dress – what more could you ask for?