A simple white blouse and ankle-length black skirt, circled at the waist with a black and white ribbon, was the starting point for Alberta Ferretti’s autumn / winter 2013 collection.
Come again? This is not what the audience was expecting from one of the world’s foremost makers of decorative, superfine angel dresses. Not monochrome. Not simplicity. And with flat toe-point shoes! But it looked just right.
Although she played spare this season, cutting back on the embellishment, this was nowhere near ‘minimalism’; the fabrics were still enhanced with embroideries – white on white, black jet on black – there were still ruffles on the pretty short flared skirts, tapestry on a fine black mesh dress, furs that were shaved, tufted or stamped with a scalloped pattern. But the overall effect was cohesive and strong; more relevant and modern than Ferretti’s past few collections.
She introduced colour about half way through with a subtle blue check in pieces that were embroidered with black roses, before moving through jewel coloured velvets – sapphire, ruby, amethyst and emerald. Then came the final line up of evening gowns – now elevated by high mules. The stand out, in purple velvet, reached the floor, with a simple round neck and three-quarter length sleeves, side pockets for a more casual elegance, and a simple black ribbon at the waist. This dress summed up Ferretti’s new departure – simple and strong.