Alberta Ferretti took us on a trip to the seaside for S/S 2013. Accompanied by a soundtrack of flowing water and bubbles, forty-one wet-haired little mermaids appeared on the runway, clad in barely-there ethereal pieces that fluttered as they moved like seaweed swaying in the tide. As always, Ferretti’s vision was about romance rather than sex – think Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy-tale princesses rather than Ursula Andress. But that is, after all, what Ferretti does best. You can picture her tucked away in her studio in her hometown of Cattolica – a picturesque coastal town, far away from the Milanese hub – toiling with yards and yards of chiffon, all while conjuring up fantasies of otherworldly nymphs skipping along the sand.
Her vision translated well, there were plenty of dreamy diaphanous pieces for the Ferretti fashionista to enjoy. Shell, celeste and sky blue cocktail frocks were decorated with coral-like beading and glistening diamante. These were delicate to the point of non-existence thanks to a ready employment of sheer draping and lace. The opening looks, a set of fluid twenties-style dresses – she’s always been a fan of The Great Gatsby - that featured fine nude organza layered over fringed flapper beading showed Ferretti’s ultra-feminine vision at its best, and are sure to be a hit amongst the lithe young starlets with whom she’s already proved such a red-carpet staple. Daywear was less impressive; a deep teal shantung suit accessorised with goggle-style sunglasses looked frumpy next to the youthful lightness of the floor-length dresses.
Similarly, at points, the sea breeze was a little two strong. A dress featuring seaweed-like beading growing up the breasts and swooping numbers decorated with swaths of fisherman’s net beading took the theme too far. But minor quibbles aside, after a strange meander into dark drama and heavy suiting for A/W 2012, it was pleasant to see Ferretti return to her strength – and her customer’s go-to – gorgeous gowns for unashamedly girly girls.