As a new strain of minimalism gathers steam in Milan, the eye felt more ready for what Maximilian Davis has been dishing out since arriving at the creative helm of Ferragamo last year.
His sophomore show also marked a step up from his debut, from the mammoth black set reminiscent of Richard Serra’s rolled-steel ellipses, or some futuristic parking garage for alien space vessels, to the collection itself — sleek and buffed to a high polish.
The designer opened his display with a vaguely cocoon-shaped navy woolen coat with a dramatic throat latch, cueing up the clean, geometric shapes, either columnar or rounded, that defined the fall collection.
Clinging pants that unzipped at the ankles and flared over glossy mules for her, square-toed boots for him, underpinned most exits.
Tailored coats and suits were mostly tubular, and in dark colors, with white or red flashing from elbow seams, sleeve piping, lapels or filmy, removable cotton hoods, their fasteners splayed over the shoulders. This graphic approach to color, a Davis signature, is what gave otherwise plain clothes a bit of zing.
Sometimes bold cutting grabbed attention, as in scoop-neck tank tops paired with flaring leather pants for her, silvery jeans for him.
For variety and a bit of outré glamour, there were big shaggy coats in red or leopard spots; clinging Lurex minidresses with ruched bodices, and high-shine patent, sometimes worn head-to-toe. For the younger set, he reprised some of the activewear archetypes and utility details employed for his debut.
Prints were nonexistent and the supersized handbags seemed targeted more for TikTok impressions than daily life.
Some editors in attendance grumbled about certain resemblances to old Prada, notably the side-buttoning tailoring and those removable hoods, but you could argue it’s splitting hairs as austere design returns to the forefront.
Backstage, Davis was mobbed by reporters who stretched their arms with their smartphones and strained to hear above the blaring ambient music. The young designer talked calmly about how he sees his job as dressing a “family of people, whether it’s for the mother, daughter, or father and son” — which translates to appealing to the current Ferragamo customer while enticing younger people to the brand.
He balked when one journalist suggested he was shilling a “new minimalism.”
“I think it’s playing with the codes of the house that were always there, especially the codes from the ’80s and ’90s,” he retorted. “I think that ’90s is obviously a trend that’s happening at the moment. And I really want to make it feel relevant for today.”
Davis also dipped a bit into the mid-2000s and brought back Canadian model Jessica Stam, whose distinctive, arm-swinging lope and doll-like beauty brought a dash of charm to the display.