Women imagined, women as harmonic as one of Bramante’s constructions, women who reflect the atmospheres of a unique daily life, women as queens of seduction. Around them gravitates the imagination of Alberta Ferretti, her ongoing, untiring aesthetic voyage ever-glimpsing new horizons, new perspectives, new magic from the female universe.
A long career of creativity, and rigorous, coherent work celebrated at every show and by her many accolades and acknowledgements, among which her being knighted ‘Cavaliere del Lavoro’ by the President of the Italian Republic in 1998 Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, in 2000 the Honorary Degree in Conservation of the Cultural Heritage for the restoration of Castello di Montegridolfo and, in 2005, the Career Award and the “Romantics” prize award by Anna Wintour.
But her sensibilities, just as her memories, her intuitions and her ideals, are concretely expressed in each and every show the stylist illustrates with characteristic passion. “I truly believe that the brand that bears my name, an “established” brand, is one that knew how to build a well-defined style while remaining faithful to a concrete vision of creativity, coherence and continuity. In recent seasons I’ve wanted to add a good dose of energy and glamour to the force that distinguishes my fashion made of femininity and romanticism which together with the sartorial tradition that distinguishes Made in Italy, has strengthened the brand identity even more”. An instinctive woman, brimming with enthusiasm and curiosity, but disciplined, rigorous and coherent at the same time; Mediterranean, passionate, sensitive to the genius of artists if we consider the SS 2020 collection framed in an evocative video installation by artist Fabrizio Plessi, and above all lover of beauty and seduction. Alberta Ferretti is all of these and more. As varied as the images of femininity in her fashion, reflections of equally as many atmospheres.
For example, there are visions of fashion in motion, in the Cruise 2020 collection, innovating creativity to achieve the forms to dress a new persona, where the sense of the modern cohabits with the rapidly shifting dynamics of time: Alberta Ferretti’s women are freed from constrictions and wear the kind of clothing that establishes eccentricity as a personal search for identity.
“I let myself be guided by a sense of unicity, which in effect means search for identity. I like to imagine a woman who combines dynamicity, thought and calculated eccentricity. Who’s capable of being “off centre” going beyond the rules and inventing new ones better suited to her activities, her responsibilities, her ways of being and expressing herself».
Then there’s a new woman, modern and eccentrically simple, erupting in 3D volumes to define a new femininity. These are the guidelines of the Alberta Ferretti Limited Edition collection, a synthesis of sleeves framing the geometric plunging backs of long gowns, corsets constructed with crystals and metallic baguettes for a double-layer dress in pleated tulle and satin, while the saturated hues of sorbet colours bring even more light to the fabrics.
The stylist has indeed always had a predilection for sumptuous lines and studied fabrics, even if this goes somewhat against the trends of the moment. But in return she offers us a sophisticated woman, swathed in seduction and presented with extreme grace.
“I moved from the idea that simplicity had to come back to govern our thoughts and actions, but without simplifying the expression of our persona. That’s why I added that element of eccentricity, which for me is like giving spontaneity a creative touch. Then I worked on the volumes and details forming the special items that truly represent the woman who chooses to dress simply, but outside the box to best valorise both her physical figure and her particular character.”
In her gallery of feminine images there are women wrapped in little capes that transform into tops coordinated with chamois pants or faded tie-dyed jeans mimicking marquetry, or dresses in washed silk made in a patchwork of alternating colour and crochet, as seen on the runway at Milano Moda Donna. All elements that decline a refined day attitude expressing renewed interest in dressing well.
“I started working on the Spring/Summer 2020 collection with the idea of creating a contemporary narrative, searching for a balance between the feelings women have for fashion and the free attitudes of our times. So I decided to go deeper into my search for personalisation to turn each item of the collection into a chapter of this narrative, and transform everyday dressing into so many special occasions.”
And it isn’t just aesthetic expression that fascinates Alberta Ferretti, lover of beauty. Sustainability is another determining element in her world, ever-present in both her everyday life and her search for style. Pioneering a new eco-aware mentality, in 2011 she presented her first sustainable collection, born from a collaboration with British actress Emma Watson, followed later by the LOVE ME collection, presented in exclusive preview at albertaferretti.com during the week prior to Earth Day on the 22nd April 2019, making her ambassador of a message of love for Mother Earth and all the living creatures it hosts. The circular logo forms an embrace between the words LOVE and ME on a background easily recognisable as the Earth.
“What makes me proud about this project is the knowledge of having planted a seed that will germinate and in turn bear fruit that makes more seeds and more fruit. They’re my little saplings in a forest of sustainable fashion where I hope those planted by me will be accompanied by the many, many more my colleagues in fashion have and will be planting”.
The collection is made up of warm sweaters in recycled cashmere, organic cotton T-shirt, pants and skirts characterised by messages aimed at stimulating thought about the urgency the environmental problem has taken on at world level. Each item is made from carefully selected materials, with certification guaranteeing their origins, whether recycled or organic fabrics, and limited use of harmful chemicals. The same care has gone into the details, too: the labels are in recycled fabric and the packaging is compostable, to further reduce their environmental impact post-sale.
Her commitment and contribution to promoting the importance of loving and protecting our planet led to her receive the 2019 “Ethical & Sustainable Award” in Montecarlo at the Montecarlo Fashion Week.
“Sustainability is a central issue in the world today, and I believe we have to work toward developing it in the humanistic sense of the word. Let me explain. Fashion has a duty to be sustainable because it’s always described a beautiful world, while today our planet is under threat from pollution, climate change and plastic invading the Oceans. Not to mention the denial of human rights, the prevarication of the strong over the weak and the rich over the poor. For me, the sustainability of fashion doesn’t just concern the materials, but respect and guarantees for the rights of people working in the world of fashion as well, throughout the entire chain. We absolutely have to be capable, as soon as we possibly can, of tracing the sustainability of the entire production chain that supplies fashion, from harvesting the raw materials to manufacturing and distribution. Personally, I’d like to be certain that the rights of the workers picking the cotton, those who spin it into yarn, those who weave it and those who cut and stitch it into the clothes we wear are fully and properly respected. That’s the kind of sustainability we have to aspire to. Mark my words, it won’t be an easy task, but it’s one we have to start, and we have to start now. Now we’re using ecological and cruelty-free materials everywhere we can, but that’s just the first step. Our commitment has to extend to the rights of people as well. That’s what I meant when I said I want to achieve sustainability in this truly humanistic sense”.
Like and alchemist, Alberta Ferretti wisely doses passion and discipline, ethics and aesthetics. From this mystical mixture come collections that abide by some mysterious rule by which fabrics and volumes fall into magical harmony revealing the characteristic of her style: spontaneous verve and able construction. “A women close to women” who interprets the desire for beauty, fascination and personality as never before. And when form becomes style, then the stylist has found her true course.