Gianfranco Ferre’s new design duo, Stefano Citron and Federico Piaggi, made their debut with a clean, relatively monochrome collection for Spring 2012. The brand has grown a little stale over these last few years and could use a high profile collaboration (with H&M perhaps?) or a killer “it” bag to pull it out of its funk. Ironically, one of the most notable elements in this season’s collection were the looped belts that cinched a number of the models’ waists and it was hard not to think of Reed Krakoff’s signature bags every time they made their way down the runway. Similarly, some of the most interesting looks played with new looser and more fluid proportions than what one expects from Ferre and worked in eye-catching touches like sleeves that appeared to be layered, slits (on the arm of a cuff sleeve dress or on the collar of a loosely draped dress for example), and cut-outs into avant garde draped looks (at least by classic Ferre standards), but, at times, they struck as toned down versions of past Haider Ackermann designs.
Nonetheless, the designers’ first outing was streamlined with looks that were at once modern and minimalist, while also being edgy. The one notable miss — the half sleeveless/half long sleeve slit-at-the-shoulder looks.