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FLORENCE — “To me it’s like silent acting, I just have to stay on my feet,” said Carmen Dell’Orefice, one of 30 personalities who flocked to the Santo Stefano al Ponte church here Tuesday night to model a one-off collection by Alberta Ferretti.

This story first appeared in the January 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Italian designer is the guest of honor at international exhibition Pitti Uomo which kicked off Tuesday.

“It’s built on beauty, artistry, craftsmanship,” added Dell’Orefice of the collection, which resembled Ferretti’s dressing-up box (think frothy frocks tricked with marabou trims, beading and lace appliqués).

Actress Camilla Belle opened the show in a trademark floor-length tulle gown, introducing a series of wintry cocktail looks. High notes included a slim gunmetal sequin number, a black and gold brocade pant suit and swooping dresses with prim fur collars and cuffs. “Italian fashion started in Florence and I was keen to bring it back,” said an elated Ferretti following the event.

“I never thought I’d be a bride so soon,” laughed aspiring actress Poppy Delevigne, who closed the show in white lace. Tugging off her frock, Belle said she was gearing up for the premiere of her latest flick, “From Prada to Nada,” while Dell’Orefice revealed she is due to receive an honorary doctorate from the London College of Arts in July, along with Tom Ford. The college is also preparing a retrospective honoring the past 65 years of her work, set to open in November, she said.

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