Thursday, 31 July 2014

Timeless chic: Alberta Ferretti Spring 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

The whispers of layered and pleated chiffon, the floating satin, the delicate frills and bows, the breeze and ease of it all, the lightness and romance, the style chemistry, this collection is quintessential example of what Alberta Ferretti is all about. A visual delight, a trip to the dream land where dresses are made to last forever and  never look dated or out of place. 

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004

Photo source: Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 2004 via stylebistro.com

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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Stylish quote

Alberta Ferretti Fall/Winter 2010 campaign | Photography: Paolo Roversi

"Charm makes the difference between one woman and another. That charm derives from a strong sensuality, but it is whispered, and gives women a great freedom and priceless independence."

Alberta Ferretti


Photo source: Alberta Ferretti Fall/Winter 2010 campaign | Photography: Paolo Roversi

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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Alberta Ferretti: the story


The story of Alberta Ferretti began in Cattolica, a small town near Rimini, where the little girl was born in 1950. Her mother, a talented dressmaker, had an atelier, and whenever Alberta wasn't exploring the gorgeous surroundings of the Emilia Romagna landscape that "felt like going on a treasure hunt", she enjoyed the quiet games of playing with fabrics and watching her mother work, arranging the layers of delicate taffeta and silk around a woman's body, pinning hems, checking the fit, making sure that the garment was perfect in every way. By the time she was twelve, Alberta was already learning the tricks of the trade, cutting the fabrics for the atelier and truly embracing her love of fashion so much so that by the time she was 18, Ferretti borrowed some money from her parents and opened "Jolly", a small boutique situated five miles away from Riccione, on the Adriatic Riviera, selling collections of the up-and-coming designers including Armani, Versace and Mariuccia Mandelli among others. The shop became her home housing the studio on the ground floor, an apartment on the second and the workshop - on the third. She also married and soon gave birth to two boys, Simone and Giacomo.

Within a few short years Ferretti had everything, but "time to herself", but for Ferretti it was not just about the difficulties, but building a dream, her own fantasy, something that felt even more complete after she decided to design something of her own.

Alberta Ferretti Fall/Winter 1999 campaign by Paolo Roversi

Ferretti clothes were rather unique. Light, feminine, ruched, pleated and cut on the bias, made to be wearable and inspired by her childhood memories, art and Fellini movies, they looked beautiful and felt luxurious, so  it wasn't long before her delicate creations caught attention of a sales agent  who visited Jolly in 1974 and suggested the designer sell her clothes elsewhere. And so she did taking Alberta Ferretti name to the midst of the Italian fashion scene where "Made in Italy" symbolised the mark of style. Milan with its biannual fashion weeks was becoming the new fashion capital attracting an international crowd of buyers and journalists hungry for the modern look and quality. Ferretti clothes turned out to be such a hit that she had to expand her business, find the space, hire more seamstresses and get ready for producing the seamlessly executed collections.

Alberta Ferretti backstage, photographed by Scianna

In 1980 at San Giovanni in Marignano, Alberta Ferretti and her younger brother Massimo founded AEFFE named after Ferretti's initials and started building an impressive company portfolio of contracts by signing-up an Italian designer Enrico Coveri to work for the brand, followed by Moschino (1983), Rifat Ozbek (1988), Jean-Paul Gautlier (1994), Narciso Rodriguez (1997), licensing deals with Blugirl, Cedric Charlier, Ungaro and Pollini as well Procter & Gamble for the brand's signature perfume line (2001).

Linda Evangelista in Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 1991 campaign


Within less than a year, in October 1981, Alberta Ferretti debuted her very first season collection at Milan fashion week and by the mid-1990s her ethereal silk creations flied across the Atlantic to be sold at Bergdorf Goodman and Nieman Marcus. They were quickly joined by the Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti (or simply Philosophy) frocks, a less expensive line introduced by Ferretti in 1984 as Ferretti Jeansphilosophy to suit the younger women with "a passion for a casual, natural style, a certain impetuosity, an arrogant freshness" and "the young in heart, the young in taste".
Linda Evangelista by Meisel in Alberta Ferretti Jeanphilosophy campaign

The great success in New York meant yet another expansion of the ever-growing Ferretti empire. In 1996 she restored a town house designed by C.P.H. Gilbert in 1902 for the banker Henry Seligman and opened the showroom offering all the lines produced by AEFFE, but two years later, in spring 1998, moved Philosophy collections into a West Broadway 19th century David Ling-designed building located next door to a Rizzolli bookstore that she has "always seen in movies and photographs..."

The very same year the best female entrepreneur in Italy's state of Emilia Romagna and the first female member of the Foundation of the Cassa di Risparmio di Rimini received a Cavalieri del Lavoro award adding another crown jewel to her CV. In 2005 her work was recognised once again with a lifetime-achievement award that Ferretti was presented with in Rome.

What once was a small shop in a seaside town is now a collection of boutiques scattered around the world, from New York and Hollywood to the flagships in Milan, Rome, Tokyo, Taipei, Moscow and Paris, the label that includes Alberta Ferretti, Philosophy, Alberta Ferretti girls, Bridal wear, an eyewear range and the most recent Alberta Ferretti fragrance with Elizabeth Arden. This is another universe free from trends, built on one woman's love of fantasy and her idea of a dress that creates an emotional connection between a garment and a woman who wears it.

May Andersen in Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti F/W 2000 campaign (photography: Mark Borthwick)


References: Albeta Ferretti: My Italy - The Independent; Alberta Ferretti - VoguepediaAlberta Ferretti (Made in Italy) by Samuele Mazza & Giusi Ferre; 100 Contemporary fashion designers by Terry Jones

Photo source: Alberta Ferretti (photography: Anders Overgaard), Alberta Ferretti Fall/Winter 1999 campaign (photography: Paolo Roversi), Alberta Ferretti backstage | Alberta Ferretti (Made in Italy) by Samuele Mazza & Giusi Ferre (photography: Scianna), Linda Evangelista in Alberta Ferretti Spring/Summer 1991 campaign (photography: Steven Meisel), Linda Evangelista in Alberta Ferretti Jeansphilosophy campaign (photography: Steven Meisel), May Andersen in Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti F/W 2000 campaign (photography: Mark Borthwick)

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