PARIS — It takes a long time to craft luxurious Italian fashions and leather goods — and also for models to traverse a 460-foot runway.
Those points were hammered home here Tuesday night as Florentine house Salvatore Ferragamo invaded the Louvre museum for a star-studded resort showing.
Ferragamo’s creative director, Massimiliano Giornetti, had been hoping for sunset light to caress his rich-hippie collection, inspired by island vacations in the Mediterranean and a tour along Big Sur.
The delicate, dusty colors were a key statement. During a preview, Giornetti said he wished that his collection would not look jarring against the Louvre’s tawny stone. His mind also went to the shades of the paper used five centuries ago by Leonardo Da Vinci, whose exhibition at the Louvre “The Saint Anne, Leonardo da Vinci’s Ultimate Masterpiece,” is sponsored by Ferragamo and welcoming roughly 4,000 visitors per day.
The low-wattage hues put the focus on haute craftsmanship: low-slung leather pants laced together in broad strips, densely crocheted skirts swishing with fringe and Mod shift dresses composed of micro swags of silk fringe. Giornetti noted that four people toiled for 10 days on one sexy tank dress — a marvel of pale leather strips married to small metal plaques.
However, the clothes were often overwhelmed with detail — lacing, grommets, knotting, plaiting and drawstrings — and leg-baring dresses pavéd in racy snake prints or micro studs veered from the brand’s usual old-world glamour.
Customers are more likely to hone in on a striking one-shoulder saharienne, handsome zippered great coats and a range of sexy snakeskin boots that had editors oohing.
Ferragamo cranked up the volume on its cruise collection last year ahead of its initial public offering — parading an evening-focused collection in New York.
Giornetti put the accent on daywear this time, and broader assortments of shoes and handbags, including a range of fetching hobos.
Michele Norsa, Ferragamo’s chief executive officer, described resort as one of its most important deliveries, given that there are more warm-climate markets in the world than cold ones.
Ready-to-wear, including silk accessories, accounted for 18 percent of Ferragamo’s 2011 sales, which rose 26.2 percent to 986.4 million euros, or $1.37 billion, as reported.
Norsa characterized the Louvre showing as a global event that would dovetail with the Da Vinci expo, which has attracted 240,000 visitors to date and closes on June 25.
“It’s good for us to come to France, which is a very competitive market, to show we are a major company,” he said. “After the IPO, we have more confidence in ourselves.”