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2009 February 27

Runway Review

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(MILAN) These are dark times for the house of Gianfranco Ferré, even though it has at last found its footing in the hands of masterful designers Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi. The collection reflected a wide range of emotions, many of them hinting at those dark days of the soul, but the result was nothing but illuminating. The silhouette was strong and angular, focused on a severe shoulder and a sculptural knee-length skirt cinched firmly at the waist. Velvet, brocade, and knit fur appeared in the most structured pieces, while ruffled Victorian collars modernized with asymmetrical pleats gave this dressed-up lady loads of sass. An amalgamation of textures, coupled with all those divergent angles, suggested an eerie 3-D effect, made all the more unusual by the collection's cinematic palette of loden, navy, black and chocolate. This is no stuff of popcorn blockbuster--it's pure theater, but the sort where every woman wants to be a player. A voluminous white satin swing blouse with a large bow at the collar winked at the house's founder, who would surely be pleased with the new look of his legacy.



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