A whispy, filmy, gossamer-light vision of femininity is what the Alberta Ferretti label has always stood for. She occasionally deigns to throw a coat over it for the winter season, but seldom does she stray far from that well-established and - more importantly - well-selling formula.
For winter, Ferretti looked to the sixties and a sharper silhouette, but for spring 2012 she was back with the fairies. And, to be honest, it worked much better. The silhouettes were floaty and light, gowns traced with sheer cages of seams forming patterns of transparency around the body. Those seams also ran through fluid trousersuits and flippy skirts, sometimes accented by faggoting or a tracery of fine beads. The lightness felt terribly fitting for a summer collection - Ferretti understands summer dressing much better than winter, always imaging her woman perennially yachting on green seas under suspiciously blue skies. And brilliant sunshine is all the better for picking out the brilliant colour of these clothes, zing turquoise and cobalt blues, saffron yellow, coral and plenty of bright white.
The holiday idea spilled over into slightly more substantial garments. Ferretti offered a few separates splashed with a tropical palm-frond print in brilliant colours, and some block-coloured pieces with a vague African vibe in their chunky bead embellishment and homespun fabrics She even offered a summer cover-up or two by way of chic khaki Safari-style coat dresses cut slouchily to mid-calf. It was no departure from the shapes and styles Ferretti has down pat (she could have designed this collection with her eyes shut, to be honest) but as far as reinventing the wheel goes, it wasn't bad. There are certainly pieces here that will bring Ferretti's moneyed client-base flocking back to her boutiques once again.