A tale of the Fs in Milan on Saturday morning, as two major family-controlled Italian brands from fashion and Formula One, Ferragamo and Ferrari, staged shows that were striking expressions of brand building.
Ferragamo: Streamlined 90s chic triumphs
Streamlined chic to the max at Ferragamo where, in his second collection for the house, designer Maximilian Davis confirmed his status as the new star of Italian fashion.
Almost essentially devoid of prints and created in dramatic mono-colors – this was a great statement of contemporary power dressing with a 90s twist.
Presented hyper professionally inside a massive hall in City Life, the booming new residential and business district in northwest Milan. Giant curving plywood walls tinted black to leave the grain evident, built in two concentric circles, “in the symbol of infinity,” noted the Manchester, England-born Davis.
His cast – many of whom were pals from London, brought in exclusively for the show – marching on an ecru deep-pile carpet, the better to juxtapose their midnight blue power-coats with funnel necks, batwing sleeve tunics and crisp redingotes.
Davis loves to displace buttons to the hip and shoulder, wrapping over half his cast in that manner. Whether on curvy fencing jackets and tunic/cocktails for gals, or peacoats and town-coats for guys.
All his outwear hung from their power shoulders. Mysterious black and deepest red were the key colors, albeit presented in fresh new silks and satins.
He slashed black coats, jackets and tunics with rising red triangles, and showed many collars with contrast colors. Most successfully with a very beautiful tobacco calfskin coats with large white lapels worn by Lineisy Montero.
“This collection is based on Ferragamo in the 50s, including the slash detailing. But the 90s are a trend that are happening at the moment, and many of our codes come from that decade. So, it’s part of the DNA of Ferragamo too,” said the quiet spoken Davis.
In accessories, he composed some great wedges in matte gray or patent leather, or crafty sling backs with heels displaced almost to the center of the foot. Again, he revived the 50s riffing on a 1956 Ferragamo shoe made out of 18-carat gold, this time in twisted golden-hued metal rope.
“I thought it was modern and new to re-energise this shoe,” explained the designer, who shod guys in zippered, thick soled, super-hero boots.
Though his biggest statement was the humongous bags, finished with diagonal straps, often in the Ferragamo red, that Davis likes to emphasise.
“The idea behind the big bags was that they have to be playful objects. The proportions, especially, should be humorous,” insisted Davies.
Asked who the Ferragamo customer was, he replied. “Ferragamo is a family business. So, I think we have to design for the mother, father, daughter and son. But it’s also about welcoming in a new generation.”
One could argue that this collection was less of a surprise, and less innovative, and a little too similar to his debut in September. But it certainly reinforced Davis’ vision for the house.
“It’s important to get some consistency into our new vision. And Maximilian did extremely well,” noted James Ferragamo, grandson of founder Salvatore.
Ferrari: Speeding with style
All about speed matching beauty at Ferrari, where the velocity of the Formula One cars was suggested by the dramatic angles to bags and the blousons that referenced mechanic clothing shapes.
Ferrari’s fashion designer Rocco Iannone was also keen to highlight his tailoring skills – showing some crisp suits, jackets and volume coats – in an all-black opening for men and women in this co-ed show.
Smartly, he finished blousons and parkas with knit collars and sent out a whole series of Ferrari sweatshirts with degradé lettering. Just like the cushions on which a select band of critics and editors sat at the 9.30 a.m. show on Saturday morning.
Iannone going into overdrive with big shoulder jerkins and sartorial samurai pants, for great editorial shoot looks.
Ferrari’s sleek mechanics and sporty lines reflected in curvy heels that looked like they could have been made out of stainless steel pistons or titanium valves.
The collection also included the latest collab’ with Puma, starring a leaping cat surging alongside the race car logo.
“Beauty, and what does it really mean for Ferrari? In the sense of acceleration, and the process of becoming beautiful. So, all the pink eventually becomes red. So, pink is the first start to becoming red,” explained Iannone post show.
Pink featured in a half dozen looks – space-age blousons; padded samurai pants and posh mechanics jerkins.
And pink was the color of the cashmere sweater worn by Iannone, who celebrated his birthday this weekend.
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