The rich hippie look — with its subtext of exotic travel and a carefree life — can be extremely seductive, especially when executed with the sophistication and delicacy of Veronica Etro’s impressive spring collection.
Backstage before the show, the designer admitted she has frequently tried to purge her family’s fashion house of the gypsy tag and its emblematic print, the paisley. This time, she embraced the brand’s heritage unreservedly, banishing black and plain outfits from the runway. “It’s like going back to the roots,” she said.
The springboard for the collection was an unlikely one. She spied a cache of her grandmother’s fabric-covered books, and was taken by the mingling of diverse, small-scale patterns on the shelf. “Because it’s summer, I wanted this sense of freshness, color, prints, optimism,” she said, listing references to the Ottoman Empire, “Gauguin exoticism” and Indochina.
Not forgetting disco, the pulsing Donna Summer soundtrack recalled the days of silky dance dresses, halter gowns and long vests. Etro elevated and updated all of those silhouettes with delicate patchwork motifs on liquid silks, and added flashes of silver via knit trim, chainlike fringe and hand-hammered metal decorations.
Barring a few large-scale prints in jarring colors like lemon and orange, Etro kept to a pleasing palette of pastel and spice shades that harmonized the paisley pileups.