MFW: ALBERTA FERRETTI F/W 2014

Alberta Ferretti has gone through multiple iterations of philosophy since she first opened her small shop in 1968. With her fall/winter 2014 collection, her entire philosophy is changing. One could say that Ms. Ferretti is going to the birds. She is, and the results couldn’t be any more beautiful.

From the moment the first dress made its way down the catwalk, a deep green A-line dress covered in carefully arranged and layered feathers, one knew that this was going to be a very different collection from any other. Gone are the pretty, bright colored cocktail dresses. Gone are simple styles with just the smallest bit of applique. What she brings to this collection is a group of clothes that are full of texture, clothes that are full of nature, and clothes that are, without question, works of art.

A deep moss green is the underlying colour throughout the collection, though it rarely appears unaccompanied by browns, coppers, golds, and sometimes deep, blood red. Only in the few final and most formal pieces does Ms. Ferretti finally turn to black. Never does this collection misplace its season. White is barely even an accent color. While one may not typically think of green as a fall/winter colour, by the end of the collection Ms. Ferretti has convinced you just how appropriate it is.

While we are accustomed to seeing pieces that focus on folds, everything in this collection focuses on texture. Metallic fabrics of mottled colours ripple and wrinkle and flow as though they were reflections in a stream found deep in the woods. Lace, layered like leaves, and in one case leaves themselves appliqued onto a dress, flutter with the breeze as one walks. Coats and dresses reminiscent of medieval tapestry are textured with the most amazing bead work with appliqued roses around the neckline. Even the most simple looking of dresses come with frayed edges so that there remains a sense of texture and raw earthiness.

Yes, there are gorgeous knit sweaters, each with their own rich textures. Ms. Ferretti hasn’t left out the sheers, either, which are a bit of an Italian standard at this point, but even those are threaded and layered so they are just as textured as every other piece.

Now, here’s the down side: not all of these pieces will make it into production. Ms. Ferretti has long had a habit of showing large collections on the runway and choosing only a handful, 15 to 20 pieces typically, to actually offer for sale to the public. I would hate to be the person making those decisions for this collection. There are so many wonderful pieces here that I cannot imagine any of them being left on the drawing board. Okay, so perhaps some of the highly feathered pieces are not the most practical. Heavily beaded pieces may be a bit too couture for large-scale production. Is there any look that doesn’t deserve to be worn? No, they all deserve to be worn.

Alberta Ferretti has captured the essence of nature with wonderful beauty in this fall/winter collection. Please stand, applaud, and then buy. You need these clothes in your wardrobe.

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