It’s strange after a decade of covering shows in Milan to walk into a tent filled with more than 1,000 people and recognize only two: Coco Rocha and Anna Cleveland, who walked in Elisabetta Franchi’s fall show.
If Franchi has yet to breakthrough internationally, she clearly has a profile at home. Her front row was filled with Italian TV types — with the blowouts, the lips, the tans, the highlights, the boobs — and a whole lot of other people. She can draw a crowd, just as her fall muse Eva Perón could. “The inspiration is late Forties,” Franchi said backstage. “It’s an homage to Evita Perón, an icon for me of strong women, very conscious but who doesn’t renounce her femininity in any way.”
The collection was a hyper-feminine ode to throwback glamour. There were high-waisted, Hepburn-esque pants and embroidered blouses; a pajama/smoking jacket jumpsuit with a fur collar; embroidered tie-neck blouses with tight pencil skirts under glammed-up furs; lots of Chinoiserie references, as well as campy hats, leather opera gloves and fur stoles that looked like opera gloves. Styled to the nines, the look came across as costumey, but judging from Franchi’s front row, there’s clearly a market for her over-the-top drama.