MONTE CARLO — Alberta Ferretti knows her customers, and while she continues to deliver those dreamy and feather-light chiffon gowns that the designer herself admits have forged her identity, she is also seeking to add a “touch of eccentricity.”
Speaking ahead of her resort show here on Saturday evening, Ferretti said her recent increased attention to daywear continues ”with a more precise image,” as she works to offer sophisticated alternatives to the “strong women” who are her customers.
“There has been so much talk about streetwear, but I think there is a desire to be more eccentric and unique, to explore a more personal and special language. Women today are no longer afraid to dare,” said Ferretti.
The designer explained that she wanted to emphasize Italian craftsmanship. “In a global world, Italian fashion needs to continue to have its own identity and we need to talk about this.”
Paraded at the yacht club overlooking the sleek multimillion-dollar boats harbored below, it was “inevitable” for the collection to be inspired by the sea, or nature in general — a staple for Ferretti.
“Nature is what conveys emotions, a sense of life and beauty,” she said. Case in point: the chiffon gowns in the colors of the sea that “move with the body as the waves in the ocean,” she said, with ruffles or feather inserts alternated with delicate macramé lace, beautifully and intricately sewn with patchwork techniques.
The designer hardly goes wrong with these gowns, and, as a testament to this, Eva Longoria flew in, via helicopter, from nearby Cannes, where she had opened the film festival three days ago poured into a pink Ferretti gown. But, in sync with the designer’s attention to comfort and daywear, at the show Longoria wore what she described as a “comfortable — and warm” white pantsuit, given the unseasonably chilly evening.
“It feels amazing on the body, [Ferretti] nails both style and comfort,” the actress said.
Speaking about the festival, she said this was the first time it was “50-50 women’s and men’s entries, it makes me happy and it’s exciting. We are making forward progress.”
Longoria was sure to find more of Ferretti’s red-carpet gowns on the runway, such as a stunning design embellished with a print that reproduced the seabed and its plants. But, as promised, there was plenty of daywear: easy sand-colored polos; suede pants finished with gold metal eyelets and pastel-colored denim; cabans in soft wool; deconstructed, superlight trenches, and fluid pleated dresses with belt buckles resembling nautical knots.
The latter pointed to Ferretti’s own development of the strong bourgeois streak seen on the fall runways in February, but at the same time, the designer winked to a younger customer, such as Beatrice Borromeo, who attended with her husband Pierre Casiraghi, vice president of the Yacht Club. For example, a blue tailored jacket was offset by a miniskirt, or a bomber jacket was casually thrown over faded denim shorts.
Even younger was the collection that closed the show: Ferretti’s “Love Me” fully sustainable capsule of recycled cashmere pulls, T-shirts and denim miniskirts developed with Eco-Age and Livia Firth. To be sure, the designer the evening before had received the Ethical and Sustainable Award from the Chambre Monégasque de la Mode, during Monte-Carlo Fashion Week, which was from May 15 to 19.
“I can’t say that it can all be solved in a few collections, but we have to start somewhere. We also have to make sure we care about the sustainability of the human being,” said Ferretti of the living and working conditions of those who make clothes.
The designer will bring the capsule to New York in June. “We want to engage as many people as possible,” she said.