Gianfranco Ferre, 1991

Fashion took some odd turns in the spring ready-to-wear shows Tuesday night. First Gianfranco Ferre, who doubles as the designer of Christian Dior’s couture collection in Paris, showed styles of such surpassing opulence that they reminded old-timers of overdone fancy-dress balls in Venice and Biarritz in the 1950’s. Among the astonishing sights were enormous puffs of pink taffeta for skirts with taut black tops.

Brown leather swimsuits were another arresting series. They were accompanied either by brown leather stoles or matching terrycloth wraps with thick jeweled borders. Swimming, anyone?

Nudity was a problem, though not in swimsuits. A stretch jump suit with jeweled straps had a decolletage that opened to the waistline; the model kept her arms folded across her bare chest the whole length of the runway. Ball gowns with billowing skirts had tops as sheer as stockings decorated with a few strategically placed jewels. A bikini bottom had no top at all, just a separate collar.

from ITALIAN DESIGNS TAKE SOME OFF TURNS by BERNADINE MORRIS NYT, October 11, 1990

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