Alberta Ferretti’s AW18 Show Has Meaning Beyond What Meets the Eye

 illustration: Camay Villanueva

illustration: Camay Villanueva

Alberta Ferretti’s models for her fall 2018 show were the epiphany of 80s working girls who know how to mix business with pleasure.

The 68-year-old Italian designer, whose brand has been built on layers upon layers of tulle and chiffon, shifted the dynamic this season. Ferretti emphasised the distinctive silhouettes of the 80s by using heavy, structured fabrics such as leather and denim. The standout features of most of the looks were the elongated, sloping shoulders and cinched waists, which may be a reference to the 80s power suit. This could not be a more fitting visual representation of the contemporary, powerful women, who will no longer tolerate misconduct and inequality within the workplace.

For the daytime appropriate looks, Ferretti purposefully limited herself to a colour scheme of gold and black. This may have been inspired by the #Metoo campaign and the collective decision for women to wear black at the Golden Globes last January. But wait, it was a different story for the evening wear segment of the show. This was where sophisticated Italian glamour rekindled its love affair with the decadent, maximalist aesthetic of the 80s music and disco scene. First, we saw black breeches with detailed embroidery with blue, purple and gold thread and matching slouchy knee-high boots. Then, the designer went into full glamour mode, dressing models in gold lamé pleated pants, full-length silver sequin jumpsuits and nipple bearing sheer silk gowns, counterbalanced by modest blouson sleeves

Instagram popular model, Kaia Gerber, fiercely opened the show, wearing a Western, all denim metal-studded jumpsuit and black leather gloves. It was clear from this first look that modesty and covering up were the recurring themes throughout the collection. Décolletage concealing turtlenecks and eye-grazing gaucho hats were popular features of many of the looks. This is particularly refreshing at a time when we have been conditioned to believe that revealing skin is a symbol of strength and empowerment. Ferretti reminds us that women can be equally strong without exposing their most sensual body parts.

Overall, a round of applause goes to Ferretti for reviving the energetic zeitgeist of the 80s while respecting the current sensitive social climate of our society.