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Collections —Woman / Prêt-à-Porter

Fall / Winter — 2002

Press Release

“An unusual feeling, a delicate solidity, a new balance between discretion and determination, freedom and charm. Thus letting imagination and volition fly along the path of tenderness. I inflected this intent according to a woman’s manner of moving, being, coming forth. Mostly, I stressed the silhouette, always slender and feminine even when defining sportier items, romantic yet ever natural even when fashioning evening dresses. What emerges is a neatness of lines and shapes which could not exist without a magical array of material alchemies, unprecedented assonances. In soft “torn” alpaca with leather lining or in lacquer red broadtail (extralight thanks to a natural tanning), the trench has the fluid drape of a second skin. The coat with leather cinch comes in supple cashmere. While broadtail makes for a new “windbreaker” with sharp shoulders and tiny waist, gray karakul and tawny mink bond in the easy wrap-trench. Despite the furlike sheen, mohair reveals an ultralight soul even when lined in silk. Fabrics typically masculine and feminine come together in surprising mixes: grisaille and pindot, glen plaid and point d’esprit…

With the same aim for concreteness and measure, I thought it important to re-examine the balance between body and shape in the spirit of a singular geometric purity marking volumes, proportions, constructions and calling forth the sublime lesson of Balenciaga. Who sustained that to wear one of his creations “a woman need not be perfect, for that matter not even beautiful: the dress will make her so.” Cinched at the waist, the short trench acquires a New Look fullness. The black reps Cinderella skirt – worn under skinny jacket in velvet and fur or loose blazer with fur inlays – takes on a barrel shape thanks strictly to a horizontal ribbing with quasi-invisible scalloping. The coat increases in size so as to recalibrate the utter elementariness of the slim body-skimming dress. The small seamless trapeze rests on the clingy silk jersey T with gloves incorporated. Though equally free of joints, the gros-grain dress fits the figure flawlessly – here making the difference is a multiplicity of minute pleats…

Attentive as always more to the substance rather than superficiality of luxury, I sought to accent its authentic value through an exaltation of some most explicit expressions. An operation which quite spontaneously led me to re-evaluate the extraordinary skill and patience inherent to a certain exquisite craftsmanship. Vital for attaining true, deep quality, far from ostentation. Thus dresses made from endless interwoven strips of fabric represent the work of meticulous knitters. Satin ribbons perforate and quilt the suit’s heavy crêpe. Velvet ribbons and loops trim the taffeta tricot. Cordury (both the genuine variety and a mink/leather takeoff) gives substance to the little coats and to minutely joint-structured jackets with basin. Stitchings zigzag playfully across the short padded jackets. Myriads of crystals form a mosaic here and there, with bayadère effects on stunningly unique tunics and pants…

To soften the moderation and severity of particular garments, I took extra pleasure in the beauty and elegant functionality of accessories. Bags first of all. Ever measured in size. In exclusive materials (baby wild boar, lizard, tejus) and enthralling colors. With handcrafting by master leatherworkers of the finest Milanese tradition. Then sturdy boots and sport shoes with thick sole. But also strappy sling-backs, striking on black hose. Lastly, eyewear new and special. Mannish in superlight titanium, with coppertone frames and lenses. Geometric in multilayer acetate with white/black profiling. Ultraprecious in real gold, both white and yellow. “Anatomical” with mask front and low-slung bars…

On this horizon of express quietness I felt the need to let burst forth a saraband of intense, passionate colors. Anemone, cyclamen and amaryllis hues. The deep purplish blues of agapanto, gention, early-spring violets that bloom in the snow. Leaving to the evening then the enchanting glint of a winter moon.

And almost from the start I imagined this collection moving on a carpet of evocative notes. Rarefied, suspended. Interrupted, however, by touches more rhythmical, profound, sensual…”

Gianfranco Ferré