Alberta Ferretti took a trip to Venice for her fall collection, mining the city’s romantic landscapes and rich history for a display steeped in drama.
Gigi Hadid set the tone with the opening look, a chiffon dress and floor-sweeping cape that were both printed with a postcard rendering of the city — striped poles and gondolas included. The cape featured a fur lining in bold blue-and-white stripes, which were a recurring theme in the nautical-flavored lineup.
A hand-painted stripe pattern — an arty take on gondolier shirts — appeared on items ranging from chiffon dresses to wide-leg pants. Ferretti gave it a luxury spin with a navy-and-white astrakhan coat, and grounded it with an oversize ribbed sweater, worn over a floor-length navy skirt with a maxi duffel bag slung over one shoulder.
There was a strong fantasy element to the collection, shown in the Rotonda della Besana, a baroque building complex and former cemetery in Milan. The designer lavished coats, sweaters and capes with opulently embroidered Venetian symbols like the winged Lion of Saint Mark, and topped some of the looks with wide-brimmed hats — think Jude Law in “The Young Pope.”
“The show has to make women dream a little,” Ferretti said backstage. “I tried to give it a slightly stronger personality, a more precise identity, because I think that today, it’s very important to be recognizable.”
If some of the outfits veered toward costume — namely, a trio of hooded velvet capes straight out of “Fellini’s Casanova” — there were plenty of the designer’s signature romantic dresses, ranging from a simple sheer black slip to a tiered chiffon-and-lace column in a floral print inspired by painter Giovanni Boldini.
For the finale, Ferretti sent out models in colorful sweaters with the days of the week spelled out in intarsia across the chest — part of a capsule collection first unveiled in January that has been flying off shelves at Saks Fifth Avenue. What could be more down to earth than that?