Paul Andrew has aspirations for this Florentine grande dame of a house: He’s put a new spin on the Vara bow pump, beloved of head teachers, “It” girls, and the international bourgeoisie alike, and has started slipping resort wear into the collection as he nudges Ferragamo into the lifestyle arena.
The Vara has lost the gold hardware and the grosgrain on the bow. The updated one has a pointy toe, a flat, rounded heel inspired by Richard Serra’s curving sculptures, and some even have a stretchy back. The entire shoe is covered in leather — in solid crayon colors like eggshell, clotted cream, and Delft blue — and there’s even a cool, all-denim style.
Keen to experiment with new materials and finishes, Andrew also sent out transparent sandals with chunky heels, made from a mix of Plexiglas and PVC in colors meant to resemble Murano glass.
Not all of the boundary breaking worked, especially in ready-to-wear. Much of this collection was unwieldy, with proportions that were too big and awkward and with too much going on. Paper-bag style pants were big and shapeless, while extra-long drawstring trousers with ties around the ankle were fussy. It’s hard to imagine the Ferragamo customer, male or female, coveting them.
Looks that had a resort feeling, including a new swimsuit lineup, were the strongest parts of this collection. They included short, bareback knits in stripes and solids, and long knit dresses — one with a hoodie, another with horizontal strips of color. A mango-and-white striped cotton dress with a cutout back, and a white criss-cross halter dress with a puffed skirt, looked fresh and youthful.
A striped, hooded caftan looked cool and breezy on Ferragamo’s outdoor runway, but other ones in burnt orange or dark blue were dreary — and on such a bright, sunny morning.
This customer is older, monied — and most likely a jet-setter — so if Andrew wants this lifestyle proposition to work, he needs to focus on clothes that are fitted, glossy — and more about style than fashion.