Tod’s stepped into a new world when it took on Alessandra Facchinetti as a designer, but she has turned out to be more than fit for purpose. She embodies a new feeling about fashion for a generation of women.
In Italy especially, former Prime Minister Berlusconi’s attitude to women as sexpot figurines has finally been challenged.
Facchinetti’s approach is gentle and not too minimalist, so that after the opening pieces in a plain, pink-washed camel, leaf patterns made quiet decoration for the streamlined clothes.
It does not seem so difficult to offer a fresh, white blouse. But the point about this designer is that every piece seems right in weight, in style, and in texture.
The story was of apparently simple clothes that were in stark contrast to the grand 18th-century Palazzo Litta where the show took place. But there was dense decoration within the sporty, simple silhouettes. Threading, perhaps in leather, would weave in and out of the edge of a collar or even lace the side of soft bootees that added another whiff of quirky modernity.
Facchinetti talked about a sporty and luxurious attitude, referring to skiing and cycling, but none of this made an obvious theme. To the audience, the rounded leather jacket worn over a white shirt just looked sleek and appealing.
I would describe these designs as post-feminist, meaning that a butterfly pinned to a navy dress or a filmy, flower-patterned dress with a casual fur scarf go beyond the familiar working woman’s wardrobe of slim tailoring. Diego Della Valle, the founder of Tod’s as a footwear empire, must have been sitting in the front row congratulating himself on the fact that his chosen designer seems, like well made shoes, to be a perfect fit.