Elisabetta Franchi Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear: Leggy and Preppy


Think about the action inside the hallways of Oxford University — students swinging from silent-mode libraries to crammed pubs and dance halls with Sloane Ranger-like sass — and you pretty much get a sense of the leggy, preppy look Elisabetta Franchi conjured for her fall runway show.

It certainly made for a fun departure from the whimsical, sensual, and form-fitting gear she’s built her following on and turned out to be in tune with some of the trends seen on the Milan runways this season.

Taking literal references from collegiate uniforms and academia lifestyle, blazons, varsity lettering and all, the designer shrunk her bottoms, with denim and wool miniskirts, the latter bearing variations on tartan, and kept things classy and somewhat buttoned-up for her tops, as in preppy patch-bearing blazers, regimental striped shirts worn with a tie and rugby polo shirts decked in sequins.

The ladylike pencil skirts in an animalier pattern belonged to the college’s fancy squad, but placed on fluid, flared pants worn with a varsity T-shirt and shirt knotted at the waist, they catered to the Kurt Cobain fans among students. The same partygoer who pulls a sequined tinsel-fringed hoodie-slash-minidress would probably go for groceries the next day in an out-of-bed tartan handkerchief dress. In her portraiture of university youth, the designer even tossed in a neatly cut pantsuit separate and military-inspired, pointy-shouldered topcoat befitting graduation day.

Midway through the show, a seatmate wondered aloud how this collection would cater to Franchi’s clientele. A reasonable question, which didn’t take much for the designer to answer, parading her signature sparkling, eveningwear garb.

No matter that they were worn with sneakers, the floor-sweeping mermaid gowns with revealing cutouts covered in sequins and crystal embroideries will be surefire hits among her longstanding fans.

Franchi is no newbie in the fashion business but with fall it was clear she is starting to set her ambitions bigger.

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