ETRO SS2020: Stimulated by travel and allowing urban romance to unravel and blossom

The cut and vibe of both these items were perfections: pristine but easy, patterned but somehow neutral.

The finale was Veronica Etro at her best—old-world, bohemian, cultured, and feminist. And her conviction that the shirt is due for a return (“we are all full of tee shirts”) was the best part of this collection. There were two shirts that ruled the catwalk today: one, a classic men’s piece with sharp cuffs and a shirttail hem; two, a massive blouse in dotted swiss or cotton lace, piratical and romantic in the extreme.

Both were positioned as wardrobe essentials for a groovy vixen who alights in a paisley, animalia-themed hot air balloon (there were three on the runway) to follow dudes in bands to gigs the world over. Yes, this was a collection devoted to festival girls—groupies, actually—but only the great ones (Birkin, Pallenberg, Rampling, Bissett), those leggy British beauties who, in the ’60s, floated effortlessly between Pune and Tangier, Formentera and Monterey.

This is not unfamiliar territory in fashion, of course, but it is a historical landscape that Etro has some claim to. Haute hippie heritage chic is basically the DNA of the house. And they do all the basics of this look well: ruffly, floaty dresses in mini and maxi lengths; intricate Silk Road–like vests and boleros; kimono-esque robes and wicked obis; velvet jackets, just because; pirate boots and gladiator sandals festooned with metal butterflies. This season the news was the shirts, tailoring in general (which included an elegant and seasonless three-piece suit in brocade), and the sweaters, which were multi-textural, appliquéd, and fringed. (