Salvatore Ferragamo: very much alive and kicking
A welcome return to form at Salvatore Ferragamo, with tremendous creative tailoring, gutsy accessories and some very natty avant garde silhouettes.
It is always a tricky balancing act to lead an establishment brand like Ferragamo, but the design duo of creative director Paul Andrew and menswear designer Guillaume Meilland certainly managed that with this Fall/Winter 2020 collection. Above all, the clothes managed to be polished, grown-up and yet Instagram friendly, an increasingly vital necessity in contemporary menswear.
Staged in a medieval hospital, the cast swirled around the curving catwalk, loosely divided into six archetypes – Businessman, Biker, Racing Driver, Sailor, Soldier and Surfer. However, what stood out most was the courageous cutting, most notably the bold reverse pleats that created channels down the sides of pants. A series of eye-catching pea coats, intriguingly pinned at the side, again to create unexpected volumes, also looked great.
The duo were also right in the zone of several major Italian trends, indeed, in many ways they were leading them.
Florence and Milan have witnessed regiments of posh camouflage looks this past week, though none so patrician as Ferragamo. Beautifully printed posh jungle and palm prints in ox blood and dark olive that looked made for no more arduous a manoeuver than a hipster officers ball. Add in fearless aubergine spy coats, nipped high up the throat, outstanding double-face donkey jackets and a way over the top motorbike mechanicʼs jumpsuit, and it all made for a great fashion statement.
Practically every collection in Italy has also featured hefty boots this week, though none so cool as the great Salvatore combinations of leather lower and fabric upper boots, made in the same materials – from chalk-stripe to herringbone – as the clothes worn above.
"A man today is not obliged to assume a single, set role. He can be a multitude, and he change his worn identity any time he wishes. That’s a freedom we want to explore in the 2020s," commented Andrew in the show notes.
In the past couple of years, the Florentine house of Ferragamo has suffered from flat sales as the house has awkwardly adjusted to rapidly changing consumer tastes, especially in menswear. However, this collection felt exactly right – a blend of high-class elegance, bold silhouettes, noble fabrics and editorial punch.
Earning a huge burst of applause for the popular designers as they took their bow after a fast paced show, backed up by a mash up of 80s dance tracks. For, just like the remix of the Simple Minds classic cut, on this sunny Sunday morning in Milan, Salvatore Ferragamo also feels very much Alive and Kicking.
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