For Spring Summer 2019, Veronica Etro cast a net along the edges of the Pacific and returned with a collection richly inspired by the languid ease of coastal paradise. Starting with the lure of California surf culture: the sport-minded and sun-kissed freedom of Venice Beach’s bohemian tribes. We move towards the postcard perfect landscape of Hawaii, where each sunset is worth writing home about and the natural landscape – seashells, hibiscus flowers, palm fronds – provide all the accessories you could ever dream of. The journey continues on Japan, where inspiration is mined from the country’s denim culture, sport history and finely perfected graphic traditions. But like the ocean’s tides, the borders between influences do not stand stable, mixing with Etro’s emblematic design codes: Paisley, patchwork and customarily rigorous construction. The result is a collection that is joyous, free and effortlessly Etro.
Materials this season are built for oxygen seekers but maintain their luxurious standards. Workwear inspired jeans and long robes are a patchwork of patterned jacquard denim. Slim-fitting knit suits and minidresses masquerade as wetsuits, not to be mistaken for actual neoprene used on colourful bolero jackets. Craftinspired crochet and macramé creates mini dresses and patchwork knitwear. Embroidered cotton is so finely wrought on matching trouser and shirt sets it appears lace-like. Quilted kimono-style robes and terryclothlined short sleeved cotton coats are the apex of casual cool. A mini beaded cotton shirt dress features a funky raffia-fringed hem. Etro’s signature dresses in crêpe de chine, georgette and pekin silk are a mix of pattern and pop: ruffled tiers, plissé skirts, patchwork motifs, delicate embroidery and contrasting patterned ribbons provide their ecstatic decoration.
Beginning with saturated shades of indigo and coral, the collection melts into a riot of pale citrus colours – lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit – before circling back to black, white and cream. Prints are as easygoing as the beach-worshipping girls that inspired them, featuring blown up technicolour Paisley motifs, Matisseinspired cut outs, Japanese calligraphy, tropical florals, bandana patterns and Ikat-inspired designs. Tropical sunset scenes – an homage to blooming Hawaiian shirts – are found on printed shirts and silk trousers or embroidered on mini jacquard wrap dresses. Silhouettes are loose and free, while maintaining elements of structure. Judo style jackets are belted at the waist with long cotton bows. Fluttering silk dresses are finished with drawstrings at the wrist and waist for comfortable complexity. Trousers are wide and soft with room to move, run or chill; billowing kaftans practically float on the body and slouchy shantung silk suits give a hint of 1970s glamour.
The Etro woman this season comes equipped: sun shaded in a wide brimmed cotton hat finished with a net, holding a Paisley patterned surf board in her arms, wearing scuba booties on her feet, also worn by international surfer Victoria Vergara, ranked as one of the top ten of the world and Maribel Koucke. Her jewellery is sourced from the sea: with crystal encrusted seashells hanging from her ears and ringing her neck. Etro’s iconic rainbow bag comes embroidered with a braided strap, while slouchy carryalls feature thick rope closures. Japaneseinspired quilted thong sandals and wide Obi belts round out the look, an ode to all women inspired by waves.