Lighten up. Paul Andrew, who was promoted last week to creative director, did just that, delivering one of his strongest women’s collections yet, filled with lightweight fabrics and leather, scarf prints and colors drawn from Ferragamo’s kaleidoscope of an archive. “Everything begins with this shoe,” said Andrew, pointing to a jewel-tone, suede patchwork wedge from the Thirties, a reminder that Ferragamo, the man, was ahead of his time and treated shoes as works of art.
Andrew looked to other styles, too: a striped Forties wedge, a sculptural Sixties slingback and loads of printed scarves, which he cut, spliced and re-colored, turning them into floaty patchwork skirts with slits, long dresses and pajama suits. His light hand touched traditional tailoring fabrics and leathers alike, with gray pinstripe turned into a languid, karate style suit, and tobacco, claret and licorice-colored leather transformed into pencil skirts, boiler suits, slipdresses, puffer jackets and contrasting patches on long wool coats.
The showstopper coat, though, wasn’t made from leather or wool, but cashmere fleece disguised as shearling, another nod to the brand’s founder who, in the lean war years, would work with simple materials such as straw or cork, and spin them into luxe objects.
Working with Guillaume Meilland, men’s ready-to-wear design director and studio director, Andrew is looking to bind the men’s and women’s collections closer together and appeal to as broad an audience as possible — mothers, daughters, fathers and sons. The designers dressed men and women alike in tailored jackets with invisible drawstring waists, a mix of gossamer and nubby sweaters, duchess satin puffers and long, supple leather top coats. They sprinkled Ferragamo’s gancio buckle motif across both collections, on belts, shoppers and even zipper pulls on bags.
Andrew, who started as the brand’s women’s footwear director, trained his eye on shoes, too, slipping suede patchwork sandals onto models’ feet and a Deco-ish pyramid heel onto boots, recalling the whimsy — and creative flair — of founder Salvatore.