They say everyone has one, but it was still something of a surprise to see the dark side of Alberta Ferretti, a designer known almost exclusively for her angelic dresses. She took a moodier, more aggressive approach to her fall collection, restricting herself to a relatively severe silhouette and a dark monochromatic palette, without ever losing grasp of her domain: It was still pretty.

Backstage before the show, Ferretti said she was thinking of a wardrobe for a strong, modern woman equipped to handle the challenges of today’s world. A sharp coat is a requirement, and there were plenty of options, all finely tailored yet elegant in pinstripes and mannish cuts. Chunky, oversize knits, many of them worked with fur accents, were a great alternative to the outerwear, which Ferretti used as a convenient poetic conceit for the collection. “I see the jackets as cocoons,” she said. “When you open them up, you can reveal a much more feminine side.” Done in mostly black embroidered silk chiffon, lace and tulle, the eveningwear followed the lines of the body in anatomical seams softened by layered hemlines that jelled nicely with the collection’s dark romance.

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