If there's one thing to be said about Gianfranco Ferre, it's that he was a man who relentlessly marched to his own beat, with barely a glance to changing trends around him. This has been both a blessing and a curse for his successors, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi - on the one hand, Ferre's distinctive style is ripe for plunder by a new set of eyes, but on the other hand it is often difficult to translate into a modern idiom. This season, Aquilano and Rimondi opened with a series of organza dresses that seemed like elaborations Ferre's much-loved white shirts. Indeed, there was nothing wispy about these numbers, pleated or ruched with gathered peplum cinched by serpentine gold mesh belts and falling into frothy little skirts. The structure was softer than Ferre - the suiting especially stood out as feather-light, while sometimes the layers of deconstructed gathers had airs of his fellow countryman Romeo Gigli, particularly when shapes cocooned the shoulders in flesh-coloured petals of organdie and chiffon. Later, Ferre's firmer hallmarks emerged in highly-worked surfaces, giving a stiffer form to the clothing - witness gold-embroidered dresses and coats whose fabric was hammered to resemble brocade, and corded wave-pattern skirts that stood in rounded shapes away from the body. Those were perhaps a little too reminiscent of Signore Ferre's heavier forays into the great architectural beyond, and they didn't look any better today. What did look fresh, new and above all youthful, were two formidably intricate draped and pleated black silk-tulle and organza frocks, one flirtatiously frothing like feathered wings over the breasts, the other dropping at the back into a delicate, billowing train. An updated on Ferre's love of elaboration but with the lightest of hands, they seem destined for the best dressed of red carpet events - or at very least more than a few cocktail parties across the globe.
This season, Aquilano and Rimondi opened with a series of organza dresses that seemed like elaborations Ferre's much-loved white shirts.