By Laura Goodson
Elisabetta Franchi’s debut catwalk collection aptly called ‘The Fairy Tale and The Gate,’ dazzled on the penultimate night of Milan Fashion Week.
The collection was staged in the beautiful Palazzo Clerici and as we filed into the seating area, it was clear that this was a hotly anticipated collection, the hall was so packed out that guests occupied every inch of space, even spilling into the corridors desperate to get a glimpse of all the action.
While the house was founded in Bologna in 1998, this was the first time the Fashion House had decided to stage their collection at Fashion Week- needless to say, the debut catwalk collection was carried off with aplomb.
Elisabetta Franchi told reporters of her desire to create a collection which would clothe ‘la mia principessa’ (her princess) and the collection was inspired by the elaborate design on an abandoned gate that she stumbled upon. In an interview with Pambianco Tv, she explains how the gate, ‘opened her mind’ and became the font of her inspiration for the entire collection.
She explains in the same interview that she looked to the world of Art Deco to find her colour scheme, leaning towards the gold and black side of the Art Deco spectrum. From here she established colours such as bronze, gold, buttery cream shades, white and a splash of red as the protaganistic colours of the collection.
In terms of pattern, the leopard’s fierce coat is a focal point and while the collection is unmistakably iper femminile, Franchi’s usage of Leapord print and Fired Red add a streak of femme fatale to the collection. As Franchi reveals in her interview, this collection is for the ‘principessa of the 111 millennia.’ Here Rapunzel retains her illuminating beauty and grace but is given her a 3rd millennia make over, no longer trapped in the tower, she is bold and fearless and ready to take on the world
Details and embellishments are inspired by the ‘losanghe”(diamond shapes) that she found on the ornate abandoned gate, in addition to this, fringes and twinkling beaded patterns are strewn across the materials; paying homage to the dresses of the 1920’s art deco period.
The look is made fresh and modern by the usage of tailored blazers, cut to evoke a hint of masculinity yet completely feminine in terms of the colour and material.
Elisabetta Franchi continues in one of her interviews to proclaim that, her woman has radiance, ‘she glows and catches eyes wherever she goes’. She continues, ‘gioelli, gioelli, gioelli tantissimo!‘ (jewels, jeweles jewels, tonnes of jewels!). Indeed the jewellery in the collection beautifully complements the decadent charm of the clothes.
Golden tassel earrings are elegantly paired with chain details on the neckline of tops, creating a beautiful frame for the face. Glittering headbands secure hair into chic plaits and up dos and losenge shaped earrings reflect the art deco inspired patterns on the dresses.
Shoes are predominantly gold toned and feature elegant straps, bags are micro-ed coming in neat, compact sizes and elegantly fringed with gold chain straps.
Favourite Look?
Many pieces in the collection were standout pieces by themselves, owing to the delicate yet dazzling allure of the losange embellishments. The soft white blazer was a firm favourite for me, a versatile piece that can easily be slung over an evening dress or over your shoulders on the way to work.
These two stunning pieces below reflect the long and short hemlines that featured in the EF SS15 collection. The dress on the left glittered beautifully in the light and the fabric flowed elegantly down the runway. The finishing detail of the matching headband and belt screamed 3RD Millennia Principessa.
The second fringed playsuit, is shorter and flirtier, the fringes combined with the embellished lozenge detail on the waistband means the wearer hits all the right keys for beautiful, understated chic.
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Where to find the collection?
Elisabetta Franchi’s beautiful creations can be found on Via A Manzoni. 37.
Click here for the map.
Words: Laurs Goodson.
Images: Lucilla Manino