Alberta Ferretti used to be the undisputed brand for romance, but in recent seasons Milan’s queen of chiffon has tried, with varying degrees of success, to reposition her perspective.
For spring / summer 2013, however, the designer reprised the work for which she is best known. And who else can make an angel gown, apparently woven by the most dextrous spider – so fine was that lace – look more divinely pretty?
Against the moody backdrop of tumbling clouds, the collection opened with pale cream wispy dresses, their sleeves or skirts delicately embellished with microscopic beadwork. One cream confection tumbled fronds of beads like that of a 1920s flapper.
Ferretti introduced colour – soft, dreamy shades like bluebell and pistachio green, culminating in petrol blue for a sharp little Shantung silk skirt suit. Only a few suits and a couple of narrow silk trousers made the cut. For the rest it was back to her personal cause – dresses.
If the message was a little relentless, at least it was decisive. From the form-fitting shifts in cream crepe de chine, their seams defined with whisker-fine black threads, to the lace – fairy-light in white, while in black, it appeared to cast a faint shadow across the body before flooding to the floor in pools of chiffon.
These angelic dresses were exceptionally labour-intensive - demonstrating her dressmaking skills to their fullest – but the art of Ferretti is that they never looked in any way laboured.