Sunrise to sunset. It is one of the most magnificent acts of nature.
In a poetic show, Alberta Ferretti caught that rise and fall, translated into a — digital — woodland setting where fabric was presented with knobs like a tree trunk, or the sponge brown of a mushroom’s underbelly.
The show was lyrically beautiful, one of the finest Ferretti has ever done, due only in part to the fiery ball of the sun as it rose and fell on a screen at the back.
Tech skills can take a collection only so far. For the clothing, the audience was presented with the exquisite craftsmanship that seems to exist mainly in Italy.
Instead of sending out clothes for winter in the countryside, there were just a few coats in brown, green and an autumn leaf of orange or gold.
A poetic imagination brought out trousers, which are beginning to look like a fixture of the Winter 2015 season. There were also ankle-length skirts with long-sleeved, shapely tops.
There was something almost medieval about many of the looks, and I saw the influence of the Valentino duo — Chiuri and Piccioli — and their penchant for beautiful, semi-historic coverings-up of the body.
Since the Ferretti look has never been vulgar, she slipped gracefully into the style of long sleeves and hemlines.
In the week after the Oscars, there were no typical red-carpet looks, where Ferretti’s delicacy is always in demand.
Instead there were innocent, long white dresses with full sleeves, which might accompany a skirt with a prim garden of embroidered flowers down its front.
Ferretti described the show as an ode to Italy.
“I started thinking about the importance of imagery in contemporary culture, and how communication is now largely through social media,” said the designer. “That took me back to the Renaissance, when portraits could convey truths about the era and society.”
That might suggest a historic collection stiff with costumes. The opposite was true: it was the past seen through a prism of modernity, so that inspiration from tapestry or mosaic caught the light of today.