Sustainable textiles take centre stage in Etro’s spring summer 2019 collection. Natural fibres, vegetable dyes and local production have shaped a collection beholden to the visual cultures of Southeast Asia, Africa and Japan. Inspiration for the deeply rich patterns comes from the complex motifs of Iban cloth from Borneo, Batik dyed fabrics from Indonesia and colorful West African wax prints. Bamboo, a pillar of the collection, is explored for its connection to Japanese martial arts traditions.

Textiles are purposefully imperfect: suffused with scars and imperfections left in place from the weaving process. Where possible, natural dyes like beetroot and coffee are used to render the brilliant pigments found throughout the collection. A sophisticated palette ranging from soft rose, dusty teal, celery green, burnt orange and royal blue moves toward a spectrum of cool, cloud-like whites and pale greys.

The heart of the collection is a heavily researched assembly of materials: fibre derived from stalks of the nettle plant, Jute spun alongside hemp, Raffia from palm trees as such are used in the making of the trousers, jackets and parkas.

Silhouettes are soft and flexible, moving in tune with the body and designed to age with dignity. Suiting is cut generously: long, double breasted blazers with peaked lapels, wide trousers with deep pleats, built in belting on trousers that references 1930-era styles. The bamboo motif, an integral part of this collection, is woven into elegant suiting and layered over with embroidered panels. Accessories are exquisitely conceived. Espadrilles are loosely braided in the style of Viennese cane work, while simple leather loafers are printed in a snakeskin and crocodile motif, thus, leaving the animal out of the process.