The daughter of a dressmaker, Alberta Ferretti kept it in the family - opening her own boutique in Catollica, Italy, aged just 18. By 1981, she had both launched her eponymous label and showcased her ready-to-wear collection in Milan - the first of many to come.The Ferretti formula lies in the designer’s ability to showcase the uber-femininity of a woman’s body: her work is always a masterclass in the arts of feminine draping, intricate embellishment and floaty textures. And, while current collections also demonstrate neat tailoring alongside cosy knitwear, it is the Hollywood appeal of Alberta’s floor length dresses that will always steal the show. This romantic approach to fashion is no less present in Alberta Ferretti’s younger sister brand, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti. Launched in 1984, it does however create a contempary, playful twist on the timeless appeal of the Ferretti ‘philosophy’ - and, in recent seasons, this has meant anything from cute chiffon playsuits to smart sequinned jackets.