Etro’s collections are imaginative and compelling, with refined references layered in a millefeuille of colors, patterns, and textures. Yet, for all their elaborate visual charm, a refreshing simplicity of lines and volumes is always at play, which speaks of modern ease.
Nothing is ever too convoluted: The apparent sensory overload dissolves into effortless silhouettes, attractive and rich in references (the Etros are passionate collectors), yet surprisingly friendly to wear and flattering to every body type. Does it have to do with Veronica Etro being a woman designer, perhaps? “Well, I definitely have real women in mind when I design,” she said.
Etro’s nomadic spirit is one of the label’s long-lasting signifiers: It isn’t a mannerism. They did bohemia way before everyone else jumped on the bandwagon. For prefall, Veronica embarked on her usual imaginative world tour: “It’s an entire universe that fits into a suitcase!” she mused. Her eye traveled from the gauchos of Argentina to the valleys of Tyrol, ending with a dash of British heraldry, all of which imbued the collection with a sophisticated medley of quirk and clarity. Ponchos and blanket capes were thrown over roomy corduroy pants, fringed suede jackets were mixed with floral-printed velvets; and sumptuous paisleys gave a luxe edge to romantic tiered dresses in light chiffon. Masculine tailoring blended with soft feminine pieces; oversize, crisp poplin shirts contrasted with shell coats in precious hand-woven brocade jacquard that were inspired by sacred vestments in the family’s archives.
As always with Etro, cultural references were worn lightly, and reworked into new propositions. “One of our best qualities is being timeless,” said Veronica. The 16-year-old actress Alice Pagani, star of Netflix’s Baby, is a client, but it isn’t only Gen Z-ers embracing the label. Recently the Italian movie director Lina Wertmüller wore an Etro dress to receive a Life Achievement Award. “She is 92!” said the designer. “I couldn’t have been more proud.”