It's Etro, but not as we know it
'The Etro girl doesn't fall behind when it comes to modernity and new technical developments,' said Veronica Etro in a relatively calm pre-show backstage area, 'but she never forgets her history either.'
And thus she explained an autumn/winter 2013 collection that was a dichotomy between ultra-modern spacey prints and Star Trek-ky shapes, and classic Etro bohemian glamour. The backdrop to the show was a light projection of swirling magic-eye prints that belonged firmly in the digital era, and out of that came a procession of girls in brave new technical fabrications (power mesh and techy matte neoprene) but in the classic Etro color palette of mustard gold, burnt orange and cranberry.
Cathedral vaults, Renaissance alfresco paintings and Russian ceramics provided a slightly schizophrenic starting point for the prints - Veronika's intention was, she explained, to 'layer the prints, like layering different periods of time, and then pixelating them to provide a new point of view.'
This was done most effectively in mannishly cut overcoats with sprinkles of jewels, or in the dramatic cutaway gowns, low-slung belts giving away the boho-luxe Etro spirit. There were new shapes, too - a sporty new pin-tucked shoulder, raglan-cut jackets and even an outsize bomber made of embossed velvet.
Easily the show-stopper of the collection was Joan Smalls in an off-shoulder column gown, which rippled down the runway and made us all want to layer our decades and pixelate our pasts - if it makes us look like that, we'll take it.