Etro is taking a singular position on its prints when creating a pattern for spring. The house, like others here in Milan, has felt the call of the Deco twenties. Yet Veronica Etro has rendered the prints that transpired from it in a relatively clean way, streamlining their motifs into a series of gorgeous flapper dresses, cut loose through the waist and falling into hems that fluttered with plisse layers, or as a border of slashed pleats, or ones that swished with silk fringing. Other dresses had pretty touches of strapes fade out around the shoulders, so that the prints didn’t look too two-dimensional. “There are only fashion dresses, really, few pants,” Etro went on to say. “And because they are so elaborate, you don’t really need any accessories.”
No accessories? Actually, Etro had plenty envelope purses in graphic formations of claret, seafoam, and shell pink, and a rather snazzily jazzy gold-and-black kitten-heel sandal—but you get her point. In a city that’s no stranger to ladling it on, the look that is dominating many of the collections this season—the highly decorative short dress that moves with softness and lightness, and doesn’t get much more adorned beyond that—delineates the new approach Milan is bringing to its usual concerns of exuberant artisanal handwork and detailing.
The workmanship is still there, it’s just getting treated with a gentler, subtler, and—if this doesn’t sound plain—more minimalist hand. That these prints accounted for this collection’s loveliest and liveliest moments is no surprise; and Etro worked hard to take them far beyond a clichéd replay of Art Deco tropes, referencing, amongst other inspirations, the work of 1920s Italian Futurist painter Fortunato Depero.