Sunday morning in Milan was devoted to two venerable Italian brands, Ferrari and Ferragamo; one starting out in fashion, the other trying to revive a Florentine jewel.
Ferragamo: From Renaissance to Arte Povera
There was a time when going to a Ferragamo show was seen by most editors as something of a chore. But since UK designer Maximilian Davis arrived at the house, Ferragamo runway shows have become a very hot ticket.
And a much bigger event. This season staged in a massive hall inside the Fiera di Milano, Europe’s largest commercial salon space. A giant cylindrical white setting where Max sent out his streamlined, largely mono-color vision.
He cut strict suits with Jesuit sleeves; built techy coat dresses with power shoulders; nipped in waists and lengthened jackets. But his key idea was draping and ruching daywear. Like funnel neck trench-coats – in white nylon or forest green leather – gathered at the neck that rippled down one side. Or techy military coats for guys – in a co-ed show – with extended back panels and mutton-chop sleeves.
Graphically, he echoed Italian sixties illustrators with curvaceous splashes and twists, seen in organically shaped leather coats in pink and red, or chocolate and beige; or ruched black and white cocktails. Though when asked about his inspiration, he mentioned Giovanni Anselmo, a star of the Arte Povera movement of the same decade.
“I like to mix something playful, respectful, but also a little perverse,” said Max, who attached the fashion version of a horse’s tail to several looks and mixed hard and soft in many ensembles. Ending with Ceretti in a molded shoe leather bodice attached to a fluid jersey dress.
Days before the show had begun, Ferragamo had a huge media hit. It placed its brand-new ad campaign Ferragamo Firenze on a massive billboard at the luggage carousel of Milan’s Linate airport. Guaranteeing that every buyer, editor and influencer got up close and personal with the ad. It features Italy’s most important model Vittoria Ceretti with a gang of pals poised before a great Giorgio Vasari painting lent by the Uffizi Gallery, the greatest art museum of the Renaissance.
“Yes, we have an amazing marketing team, I’ll say that!” chuckled Max post show.
“Florentine, pushing the heritage in my opening collection, and interpreting Renaissance art in the form of drapery. I don’t want to change the brand. I want to be respectful. My job is to give it a new energy,” explained the ever-smiling designer.
Ferrari: Passion with punch
A string quintet played Vivaldi’s Four Seasons live at Ferrari’s latest show, mixed up with techno dance music in an ideal expression of this unique brand’s fashion thrust – industrial yet subtle.
Under creative director Rocco Iannone, Ferrari has created a very definite fashion DNA, that manages to balance snappy dressing, tough fabrics and a sense of speed and zest.
Skillfully staged, the collection rolled out in blocks of color: white, flesh, denim, black, copper and, of course, Ferrari red. A print-free collection that riffed on Formula One iconography, but again with subtlety. Mechanic jumpsuits cut in super-fine midnight blue wool, or Ferrari red leather. While in accessories, Iannone dreamed up some great evening gloves, incorporating biker protection elements.
Rocco called this spring/summer collection ‘Power of Desire’, and the human form was well on display with a series of see-through flesh-colored mesh tops, and dresses – the better to see a new series of Ferrari logo underwear.
But Iannone’s key statement were voluptuous cocktails, cut low but with billowing sleeves – made in black gabardine, coopery silk or flesh colored leather. The cast circulating the show-space in the Teatro Alcione as Hypersonic Coffee Lounge by Tagha pounded out of the speakers.
“Desire is the force that conceived and created every shape that surrounds us… the one who demands a particular silhouette should marry a specific texture and material,” concluded Rocco, in his program notes.
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