Ferretti sets her sights in the super league

HOW can you tell if a designer wants a place in the super league? Look for the million-dollar photographer Steven Meisel in the front row.

Meisel, probably the most highly paid fashion snapper in the world, earns big bucks shooting advertising campaigns for designers. And in return he puts their names on the map.

Meisel turned up in his dark glasses at an indecently early hour for Alberta Ferretti's show. Ferretti is now established in Italy and is building her markets in the United Kingdom and the United States.

As well as designing under her own name, Alberta Ferretti, along with her brother Massimo, founded and owns Aeffe, a manufacturing company with a turnover of approximately dollars 1m ( pounds 650,000). As well as making the Ferretti collection, Aeffe has links to the British designer of the year, Ozbek, who will show in Milan today. Aeffe is also the power behind Moschino, Italian fashion's money-spinning joker. In other words, Ferretti can afford to hire who she wants.

There is nothing hard-nosed about her designs. Pretty is the key word for them. Ferretti's vision of womanhood is really a vision of rosy girlhood. Ferretti's are not grown-up clothes, they are too flimsy and flighty for that.

Colours were pastel - duck- egg blue, powder pink, a wash of tangerine. Hems were fluted and everything floated, from a chiffon evening gown to the abbreviated hems of baby-dolls.

(Photograph omitted)