MILAN, Italy — These days, Milan is largely being swept by bohemian winds. Maybe it's the impact of Gucci. Maybe it's a reaction against post-Céline neo-purism. Veronica Etro, creative director of the Etro women's line, is very well versed in the language of opulence and decadence, having been brought up in a family whose main business once revolved around paisley and the like. She has always been a romantic, too, unfazed by passing trends and of-the-moment obsessions. Her patience has paid off: the fashion clock is again on her side and, today, Etro jumped on the opportunity to be relevant with a fresh attitude.
Etro loves fabric and she loves to show off the savoir-faire of her ateliers, which, in the past, gave rise to collections that were so overwrought they looked heavy. Not this time around. Working around a ballerina/lingerie theme and with the lightest silks, throwing a dash of rococo into the mix, Etro came out with an utterly serene, perfectly edited line-up of painterly dresses and featherweight separates swarming in delicious micro-motifs. Everything had a charming, undone quality that looked appealing and felt new — at least, on these fashion shores — and which was perfectly highlighted by the ballerina flats worn throughout. At moments, the goings got a bit repetitive, but nonetheless it was a joy for the eyes, like a luscious dessert after a meal.