Saturday, 26 September 2009

Milan Fashion Week: Alberta Ferretti

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In a season that's presented an endless, seemingly identical array of screaming sequins, loud leather, and rampant nostalgia, Alberta Ferretti has done the world the service of sitting back and just saying, "No." Instead of a collection full of the desperate sexuality of a people run amok in an unsure recession, Ferretti has taken us back to a more distant but no less fraught time: 1919 and 1920 to be exact. (Do I smell an Edwardian sub-trend? Pretty please with sugar and sprinkles on top!)

Ferretti's collection has tons of romantic chiffon numbers with an air of melancholy about them. The wide waists and lace recall the Armistice period in late Edwardian fashion. The velvet decorations and large Art Deco prints are a nod to the very early 20s, a time hellbent on delivering as much romantic flair as possible. In a way, this post-World War I look is even more challenging than our 80s and 90s revivals. These women and the men around them were trying to reconfigure their sexual identities after a debilitating war that proved that women could work in factories and earn money and that masculine bravado--the creator of so much wanton destruction across Europe--was nothing but an empty shell. Women were relearning how to be women, but they were also, for the first time, gaining that masculine independence that the 80s club girls wandering around next spring take for granted. So let's tip our hats to these brave women and honor them through beautiful, classic but no less adventurous clothing.


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