Ferretti retreats from the red carpet
Artist Lorenzo Quinn’s vast silver sculpture, with its muscly female body, loomed over Alberta Ferretti’s runway. It looked like an awards trophy, highlighting the success on the red carpet of a designer best known for delicate and ethereal dresses.
But everything in Ferretti’s focus seems to have changed over the past two seasons. Perhaps anticipating the disruption at the awards ceremonies these days, Ferretti’s woman has turned from relishing her femininity to something much tougher. And for Fall 2018, the designer went back to the break-the-glass-ceiling 1980s.
The show opened with bold designs that evoked the era and that Yves Saint Laurent hat that has already appeared this season at Marc Jacobs’ show in New York. It was back to roomy clothes, a big silhouette and that womanly, square-the-chin aggression. The uniform included a big – very big – black leather cloak of a coat, model of the moment Gigi Hadid with a wide-shouldered sweater and metallic bottom half; or brash silver-textured denim streetwear.
The revivals were meticulously executed – there was even the bosom-revealing sheer top of the early YSL career. And Ferretti’s visionary understanding of changing times was proved by her changing approach to evening glamour. It was mostly black and silver, with a hard edge, whether it was presented as a long dress with metallic rivulets pouring down the body; or tough-guy silver dresses with matching boots.
“Through my designs, I wanted to highlight character affirmation,” Alberta declared. “I imagined a confident and assertive woman. I decided to include my friend Lorenzo Quinn’s sculpture, ‘Gravity’ – a masterpiece that places the woman at the centre of the Universe, which for me, is a metaphor of reality.”
Ferretti’s signature hyper-delicate layers of chiffon had been blown away by the wind of change following the #MeToo movement. Yet the irony is that Ferretti’s fairy-like dresses were never vulgar or blatantly sexy. They were sweet and gentle. But in this turbulent era of re-instating women’s rights, maybe that bold, shiny metallic statue is an image closer to female hearts.
Moschino, Jeremy and Jackie
It was the pillbox hat that did it. As the models at Moschino reached an arch at the centre of a super-long runway, there was only one possible explanation. The neat suits in bright colors topped by round, back-of-the-head hats could only be a pastiche of the style of Jacqueline Kennedy, First Lady of America in the early Sixties.
Since Jeremy Scott has taken over as Creative Director of Moschino, his LA followers of his own label have been replicated by scores of young enthusiasts fighting to get into the Milan shows or forming a fervent fan group outside.
This time, there were no street scuffles. And if the fans were there, they must have been hidden in part of the huge, empty hangar. The effect was eerily polite, as if in deference to a legendary figure, even if she occasionally had a green face, like an alien.
By the time the models, with their Jackie O flick-up hair-dos, were given the Jeremy effect of dresses with blown-up Roy Lichtenstein-style images and words stamped across the front, the message was hyper-obvious.
Behind the pastiche, Jeremy was referencing Area 51, and the idea that aliens are among us, eerily perfect. He captured something in the atmosphere with these aggressive comic-strip and cereal-box graphics under plain coats, as though containing – just – the chaos trapped inside.
There was another layer to this collection of shapely tailored suits. It was very Franco Moschino – referring to the origin the founding designer’s vision in the 1980s. Jeremy made that original look come to life again, adding his 21st-century version of wit and wisdom, proving what a hit choice he was to reinvigorate the Moschino brand.