As Arlissa Ruppert, the British-German singer, pointed out on the soundtrack to this Etro show presentation, the rules keep changing. But whereas from her balcony at the West Hollywood Edition Ruppert was singing about the rules of love, back in Milan’s Zona Tortona Veronica Etro was thinking about the rules of dressing.
Etro said: “If you see people going out, how they are making their outfits, I don’t think there are those old distinctions anymore. Between outdoor, indoor, leisure, business… between everything, actually. Which is a sort of freedom that is developing today.”
There was a time when 80% of an Etro’s womenswear show would have seen the runway caressed by long-hemmed richly patterned dresses in velvet, mousseline, and chiffon. Here, look 37 and 39 notwithstanding, Veronica seized on the Jenga collapse of dress codes to rebuild her show architecture afresh. She introduced more vernacular pieces of a type rarely seen at Etro (that awesome Spring 2019 surf show apart) including leggings, t-shirts, and bombers. Although this was by no means a decoratively muted collection, the usual Etro pattern clash was reduced and to an extent replaced by a dialogue between print and solids, notably in a series of patched quilted garments including hoodies and jumpsuits.
Etro is usually a house you can bank on for at least one pair of flares, but this element of ’70s boho schtick was also shown the door today. Instead the ‘daywear’ (if that’s a thing anymore) silhouettes were more contemporary thanks to wide-legged, cinched-waist pants in washed chambray-blue and print.
One rule unlikely ever to change at Etro is its appreciation of pattern. This season Veronica had looked at the riffs and pirouettes in aesthetics embodied by Jimi Hendrix and Rudolf Nureyev (a large selection of whose personal wardrobe was purchased by Veronica’s father Gimmo, at auction in 1994). Ballet inspired patchworks and intarsias plus the house-standard paisley played out on robe coats and chiffon vests, tiger and leopard print roared occasional solos, and some closing blazers duetted with those two long-hemmed dresses via a haze of fringing in clusters of black and purple.
Etro said it was only when someone at the show filming had mentioned it, that she’d registered both of her key inspirations for this womenswear collection were men: “and maybe that’s because they both broke the rules too.”