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Collections —Woman / Couture

Fall / Winter — 1986

Press Release

Unusual words for uncommon concepts. The easy grace of the straight gray jersey dress, finding warmth under the coat in doubleface faille/jersey for a special new suppleness of fabric. The serious demeanor of the chalkstripe walking suit in bright dry wool, tracing a lean silhouette, slim waist, no collar. Yet with femininity intact thanks also to the black circular cloak in waterproof faille. The sensual allure of a white scarf serving as ambiguous sleeve, of jersey lining the petit-gris coat. The genteel splendor of metal paillettes mimicking the nubbiness of tweed and of tweed presenting crystal decors. The natural fit of twotone faille shirtwaists, with panel skirt snug in back, full in front, taking shape simply through folds and pleats. The chic nonchalance of paillettes becoming ultrasoft reptile scales on marten coats, fashioning bird’s-eye flourishes on grisaille trousers. The sense of security deriving from some of Gianfranco Ferré’s favorite themes: the spiral patterns, the stiff half bow, the palette of grays all the way to black and white, the neutral tones of a particular official character. The clear need for a gesture marking the collection: as in knotting a scarf, wrapping a foulard-sleeve around the arm, for an emphatic gentleness of movement.


There are those who follow the standard route, the same logical path as always, and those who with equal rigor subvert the rules of the game. After eight years of creating ready-to-wear defined as “the most intellectual and sophisticated on the Italian fashion scene,” Gianfranco Ferré – designer with an eccentric streak – is introducing a haute couture collection.

The question that promptly comes to mind: isn’t this a contradiction?

“Quite the contrary, it’s a natural extension of the current heights of ready-to-wear. Now certain designs are so rich and so unique that they have a sole select customer. Why not go one step further and present the same directly on a bespoke basis?”

Does this affect your inspiration when designing?

“It makes me feel a strong need for discretion, for a certain tranquillity of essence and manner reflecting a profound self possession. If I think of a situation, a typical moment, I have in mind the white tunic, so very Ferré, black beaver scarf, hands gently tying the knot, black jet torchons on wrists. All minus the exuberance of ready-to-wear.”

Isn’t the opposite true? Usually it’s high fashion that makes a dazzling impact.

“Not mine. I’m convinced that, in comparison to ready-to-wear, couture should feature quieter lines, find newer and slimmer proportions.”

This is Gianfranco Ferré’s contribution to high fashion. And vice versa? What is high fashion giving to Ferré?

“The chance to demonstrate a specific technical culture in the art, for as a whole we fashion designers are able to bring to couture working methods we have developed and perfected in ready-to-wear – without taking from the dress the hand craftsmanship it must entail. As a matter of fact, we designers have elaborated techniques as if artisan couturiers in an atelier.”