Veronica Etro’s swan song as women’s wear creative director of Etro was more like a mic drop: the fresh, charming collection she conjured for resort hit all the right notes and left the viewer wanting for more.
Etro, who passed the creative baton to Italian designer Marco De Vincenzo this month, paid tribute to the brand’s positive, free-spirited attitude and its colorful ethos while opening up to newness, tweaking the house’s eclectic codes to make them accessible to a larger audience. She stripped down patterns – including the signature paisley motif – from their intricate details or blew them up to create simplified yet vibrant graphics.
It was a commercially smart exercise, too. With escapism fever running high and travel bouncing back, resort destinations and vacation dressing have great potential for retail and fashion in general, but proved to be manna from heaven for the Italian brand, which has a nomadic spirit deeply rooted in its identity.
Etro’s kaleidoscopic world and bohemian vibe fits with the demand for a joyful and easy chic wardrobe for stays in these locations. As a result, while the company hit the gas pedal by opening a series of temporary stores and customized beach clubs in summer hot spots such as the Hamptons, Mykonos and Capri over the last two years, the designer seized the moment to explore alternative ways to serve these consumers and embrace new ones.
“We wanted to make things easier also to those who are not used to wearing heavy prints and patterns,” said Etro during a preview in Milan, while showing a blazer and matching Bermuda pants splashed with colored waves – one of the results of the paisley’s retool.
Elsewhere, the pattern was liquified or turned into a vibrant floral print on breezy dresses, pants and a sequined cropped top, which all evoked a psychedelic flair in tune with the brand’s beloved ‘70s reference.
Opting for elongated, uncomplicated silhouettes, Etro further channeled a sense of freedom and a carefree mood in fluid silk robes, cotton maxi dresses, flouncy off-the-shoulder tops, lovely crochet sets and broderie anglaise separates. The brand’s essentials, ranging from mannish striped shirts to intricately embroidered or sequined vests, beefed up the mix-and-match possibilities.
While reinvigorating pillars, Etro delivered a multifaceted lineup that left room for self-expression and fun. Most importantly she’s handing over not only a rich heritage but a precise aesthetic to De Vincenzo. With the Italian designer’s color sensibility and guidance of the experienced Etro siblings, it will be interesting to see where the brand is headed for next.