Dear Antonio,

We’re just back to our office from your incredible fall show. My colleague Mayte and I smiled the whole ride and rewatched the video I took of the finale, like, three times. She said she didn’t want to leave. She never says that after a show. How did you get that Jack Russell terrier to run along so perfectly with all the amazing dancers? I recognized Benedetta Barzini from your fall 2015 show — she really still has it. The way she balanced that potted plant!

I admit that I got the idea to write this letter from the one in your show notes that Eva Mameli sent to her brother, Efisio, detailing her world journey as one of the first Italian female botanists. It sounded so genuine that for a minute there I thought it was real and not just a clever way to explain your collection. The part about her desire to wear tulle dresses reminiscent of flowers and to play with her husband’s serious clothes tipped me off.

Backstage you talked about Mameli and Pina Bausch, two strong, very focused women from different times and backgrounds, and that the cast would include dancers, some of your friends, and models. I was still surprised.

So many designers this season have used their runways to champion the strength of women — you did too, sending a powerful, emotional message about womanly tenacity, without spelling it out literally on a T-shirt or giving out free hats. The couples that danced in Bausch-like choreography expressed the complexity of love and human nature so beautifully, and the clothes alone were examples of potent, strong-willed femininity.

The wrap coat that mixed plaid with floral jacquard and embroidery, cinched with a wide belt over a slim dress, delivered undiluted glamour in sly hourglass form. The gray men’s blazer, deconstructed and patched up with plaids and soft embroidery, over a long jacquard and blue tulle dress showed how fragility can be powerful. The chunky sweater pulled down over the shoulders and worn over a delicate pleated slipdress felt natural, casual in its prettiness. And the marigold Forties-ish velvet dress with a matching turban — wow. Bold, and very romantic.

Speaking of romance, between the camel coat with black embroidered flowers on the lapel and leopard sleeves, and the graying gentleman with the glasses, plaid scarf and adorable dog, I think I’m in love.

Yours truly,

Jessica Iredale

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