MILAN, Italy — Alberta Ferretti staged her show en plein air under the porches of the Rotonda della Besana, one of Milan's most charming spots. It featured a cast of diverse beauties of all shapes and sizes, as part of a wider message of plurality and inclusion. The collection was all about minimal lines showing the sensuality of the body through openings, slits and subtle draping. What's not to love about the celebration of womanly beauty au naturel? Nothing in fact. Yet, the show did not work.
The line separating simple from cheap is thin and Ferretti's lurex, not to mention some of the flimsy fabrics, looked dangerously so. Some of the dresses did not fit wonderfully and the extra long catwalk under daylight looked problematic. In a press conference held before the show, Ferretti talked about her desire to look at reality and offer a wide range of women fashions that are not too outlandish or unreal, whilst keeping sight of her signature romanticism. A wise move, all considering, because it helped her get rid of the excesses of the past. Yet, minimalism requires control, even when sensuality is the byword. This show was probably a faux pas, but the prospect of a new Ferretti — more carnal and less fragile — was charming.