Alberta Ferretti

Today the FT is reporting that Blackstone is the clear leader in the race for the Versace minority stake – which is surprising on the surface, given that the private equity firm has never made any forays into high fashion, and private equity as a sector has had mixed results in the sector, sic Permira and Valentino, and TPG and Bally. So why the mutual attraction? I was speculating with a colleague recently, and she mentioned what is probably the magic word: hotels. Aka the Next Big Brand extension of luxury. Read more

The news that Silvio Berlusconi, once-and-possible-future-Italian-PM-candidate and always colourful character, is engaged to be married to his 27-year-old girlfriend begs the usual question: not “Wait, isn’t he still married to his second wife?” (yes, they are in the midst of their divorce), but rather, “what will she wear?” Presumably, it would be useful for a woman marrying a political player to dress with patriotism in mind – sic Kate Middleton — but this presents an interesting conundrum, because of all the big four fashion capitals, Italy has been the slowest to embrace that emerging and potentially very lucrative market known as wedding dresses. Read more

Aeffe, the Italian fashion and manufacturing group that owns Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, and Pollini and manufactures for names including Jean-Paul Gaultier and Cacharel, has added another brand to its fold: Emanuel Ungaro. After all those Italian houses – Bulgari, Brioni – getting taken over by the French, finally the money is going in the other direction! Read more

Well, what else to conclude from the fact Ms Wang’s recent bridal collection (for those who don’t obsessively follow the endless show schedule, this is wedding season) featured 15 — count ‘em — red gowns?

Vera Wang

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Most fashion houses are understandably cagey about who they are dressing for the Oscars, the most lucrative red carpet marketing event of the year, which takes place this Sunday in Los Angeles. However, as I’ve been making the rounds of the Milan shows, some bits and bobs of information have come leaking out. The fear, of course, in spilling the beans is that in the end you are proved wrong (see post on Adele at the Grammys). The dressing game isn’t over until the celebrity actually exits the limo, but a few designers were willing to go on the record. Read more

Royal Wedding Day minus 1 and slowly the sartorial chips are falling into place. Read more

Last night I went to the Pierre hotel in New York to see a Lanvin loves H&M fashion show. They – by which I mean H&M, since this was clearly their gig to fund, though it had been given a Lanvin make-over — had taken over a jewel-like ballroom in the luxury hotel and erected a catwalk; outside was a red carpet.  Read more