Veronica Etro outdid herself this season by delivering a gorgeous bohemian lineup that was both subtlety intricate in ornamentation and unexpected in form. For Spring 2016, Ms. Etro melded elements from European folk costumes and haberdashery, Edwardian romanticism, Arts and Crafts, and the Russian Ballet into her presentation. Traditional Etro signatures were on display here as well: rich colours, kaleidoscopic prints all with that trademark Etro bohemian flavour.
In writing, it sounds like an excess of sickly-sweet romanticism, but Ms. Etro kept her references close at hand and masterfully created a collection that brought dreamy femininity back to her family brand’s runway.
It was beautiful! There was an abundance of ruche, ruffle and flounce in many of the silhouettes, particularly on sleeves, capes and skirts, but Ms. Etro provided enough moodiness to keep the flouf in check. Silhouettes were mostly simple and fluid with sporty references and languid tailoring adding additional restraint. Many of the girlish looks were styled with silky bomber jackets, sporty jogging pants, outsize jackets (very much like a luxury peignoir) and ballerina-esque wrap sweaters that gave the garments an underlying sense of strength.
This potent combination of strength and delicacy provided the show with an intriguingly moody undercurrent.
It’s really not girly. “In the end… it is not a sweet collection,” confirmed Ms. Etro in a show preview, “I am not a sweet person… I don’t like too much girly stuff… I felt strongly about giving the sense of lightness, movement.” Did she ever achieve her goals!
With that in mind, it’s clear why she chose to steer away from any shade that might be considered too youthful, preferring to base her colour palette in muted shades of beige, cream and dull gold. Occasional shots of deep blue, dusky orange and burgundy added further richness to the lineup, while metallic embroideries and opulent ornamentation pushed the sumptuousness even further.
The designer really wowed with her ornamentation this season by implementing fabrics, motifs and embellishment techniques she’s rarely used before. Victorian roses and gypsy inspired florals replaced Etro’s traditional paisley motifs- a surprising development for a brand whose use of paisley is iconic, but these flowers brought a sense of nostalgia and earthy beauty was very much in keeping with the house’s aesthetic.
Nostalgia was further enhanced by Ms. Etro’s use of traditional European crafting techniques (lace, ribbon work, ruching, haberdashery details, etc.) and the countless ways that she integrated them into the collection. She pushed herself further by intentionally keeping the ornamentation unrefined to help bring a nonchalant vibe to the pieces. The results were spectacular, with each piece looking distinctly handcrafted. There were crocheted tops spliced by bands of embroidered silk ribbons, hand-painted belts and bands of silk ribbon gave shape to chiffon gowns, contouring them to the model’s bodies. There was a leather top covered in hand painted blossoms while brightly embroidered flowers spilled across sleeves, skirts and trouser legs in many looks. Beautifully executed, these details really heightened the collection’s luxe factor.
Etro’s Spring 2016 show was a beautiful and refreshing collection. Among all the crazy 1970’s approximations that have been appearing all over the international runways, this potpourri of bohemian romanticism showed a sense of calm and dreamy femininity. Ms. Etro’s work spanned decades this season, and this lack of a precise timeline lent an additional laid- back sense to an already carefree offering that’s full of looks just waiting to be added to any modern cool- girl’s wardrobe.
This was definitely one of my favourite shows of the season. So fab
Xx – Ana