As the Twenties continue to roar through spring, designers are mining their sartorial riches with considerable diversity. Veronica Etro had a clear vision in mind. “I didn’t want it to be romantic,” she said. “Feminine, yes, but romantic, no.” Etro took her cues from the paintings of Fortunato Depero, and, of course, from the house archive, where she left reverence at the door in a quest to simplify her prints. The task, she explained, “isn’t easy — the paisleys are detailed.” She thus deconstructed them, cutting, shrinking, enlarging, collaging for a high-impact collection that was essentially a dress fest.
Out they came, riff after riff on the waistless dress, in various lengths and moods, some draped with the casualness of a T-shirt, some slung from straps into racer backs, some with engineered trompe l’oeil bodices. Etro’s newly cleaned-up, blown-up prints made for crisper graphics than is her norm. She added additional detail in underskirts of printed plissé, and pizzazz via long, swingy layers of ombréd fringe. For the most part, it worked well, and in a dress-by-dress comparison, there was ample range. But eventually in the long parade, all that jazz proved too much for one runway. Editing would have strengthened Etro’s pleasant message.