We really should have seen this one coming. With all the big emphasis on 1970s styling this season, one had to expect that Veronica Etro would latch on and knock this one out of the park. After all, late 60s-early 70s music festival bohemia is Etro’s sweet spot, always has been, and to think that she would do anything different this season would just be unnatural.
Set to a soundtrack that featured The Doors’ “Riders on the Storm,” and later their cover of George Gershwin’s “Summertime,” Etro was resplendent with one light, airy, multi-layered dress right after the other. Using a Native American tribal motifs as her theme, and 70s California hippie vibes for hair and accessories, Veronica mesmerized her audience with a set of beautiful dresses that has one looking forward to next summer with salacious glee.
Silhouettes are exactly what one might expect: billowing, roomy, and layered, with plenty of lace-trimmed chiffon and light weight knits providing a strong base. Fabric drapes loosely everywhere and at times the layers are so numerous one’s not immediately sure if there are ruffles (there are) or just many different layers of fabric bunching attractively together (there’s that, too). Fringe is a friend to many of these looks as well, and beaded fringe on the purses and accessories is an especially nice touch. The closest anything ever comes to being tailored are some of the small sun dresses scattered throughout the collection, but even those still hang relatively loose. Full-length poncho dresses go to the extreme with enough room for an expectant earth mother to go largely undetected wearing one of these pieces.
If there is a weakness in this collection it’s the fact that once the aesthetic is established it doesn’t change. Prints drift through various color tones, but styling and silhouettes are frequently repeated and these are the same styles and silhouettes we’ve seen from Etro before. So, to some extent, those who are regular Etro shoppers may be less than enthused and find they already have equally attractive and time-centered pieces already hanging in their closets.
Etro’s popularity really seems to be growing, though, and this collection isn’t going to hurt that trend one bit. Earlier this week the brand opened a new retail store in Atlanta, Georgia (Buckhead, for those familiar with the area) and more are slated for other U.S. cities across the next several months. Such expansion likely bodes well for the company given the extreme and apparently long-term popularity the bohemian sub culture has in the U.S.
Of all the Italian designers, I do think Veronica Etro would be the most fun with whom to hang out at a music festival. She was clearly enjoying herself as she came down the runway with her models. So much so, they botched the turn and started running into each other. Everyone laughed and kept going. This is the Etro spirit and this season finds them in Nirvana.
Photo credit: Alessandro Garofalo