THE ITALIAN BRIGADE

Byline: Alice Welsh

NEW YORK — Four rising Italian designers introduced their fall collections recently at the Royalton Hotel here. The designers belong to Gruppo Linea Elisabetta, a company founded by Elizabeth Barbatelli two years ago to help expose additional Italian talent to the U.S. market.
Designer Franco Ferraro moved from fashion photography to manufacturing for GFT to designing his own line. His sophisticated feminine collection wholesales between $100 and $450.
For fall, he featured a green mohair jacket over a long sheer tunic and reversible mohair short skirt. He also showed a brown velvet high-collared jacket and matching sheath dress.
Designer Franca Gualtieri studied fashion design in Milan and after apprenticing, started her own company 12 years ago at age 26. Her young forward line wholesales from $80 to $225.
Gualtieri showed a charcoal gray herringbone jacket, a merino wool ribbed sweater with ruffle detail and stretch twill riding pants. Another look was a black cropped belted jacket in stretch twill worn with a short split-front skirt.
Le Pleiadi is an Italian knitwear line with a lot of novelty. The collection is designed by Mirco Giovannini, who recently won the best-designer award from the National Institute of Haute Couture in Rome for his first Le Pleiadi collection. For fall, the line featured an ivory merino wool tunic with an open weave, a merino wool mini-cable cardigan and marled jumbo-cable turtleneck with a matching miniskirt.
The Iknos collection, designed by Roberto Maxia, gives classic sportswear a whimsical touch. For fall, Maxia did a brown stretch bouclA cardigan with coin buttons over an A-line swing jumper dress and a brown corduroy fitted jeans jacket and matching five-pocket HotPants.
The four collections are housed in the Gruppo Linea Elisabetta showroom at 488 Seventh Ave. here.

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