At the center of the Piazza Affari in Milan, where the Italian stock exchange is headquartered, stands a marble sculpture piercing the blue sky defiantly. A hand gesture symbolic of aggression – considered rude in nearly every culture – created by Maurizio Cattelan leaves no question as to how the artist feels about the capitalist system.
Curiously, this object was what one first encountered when entering the Salvatore Ferragamo show for Spring/Summer 2018. One would be forgiven for thinking this symbolic sculpture indicated something defiant within the collection itself. However, designer Fulvio Rigoni promised something altogether different. “This collection is a celebration of women’s individuality and style,” he stated before the show, which is the kind of thing designers say before the show. It doesn’t really mean much, but it sounds good on paper.
The clothes, however, didn’t need an explanation. The translation of “women’s individuality and style” was perfumed with Botticellian flowers delicately etched into laser-cut leather shifts or disguised as silk scarfs on trompe l’oeil prints. It was worked into two-piece looks bisected by an incision and then stitched together with scarves, as well as sassy sleeveless bodices with molded bustier cups, elegant slip dresses, and retro style jumpsuits made from technical mesh. One stand-out canary yellow dress – the color for next season, by the way – came out strapped with an O-ring harness on one shoulder, combining asymmetry and utility. Dozens of looks carried a filmy gleam, done in satin so shiny that it could have been mistaken for vinyl, which lent an airy quality to the collection.
Designer Fulvio Rigoni promised something altogether different.
Milan designers have been occupied with lightness, cutting away weight from the silhouette, rendering their looks in ethereal fabrics, and imbuing clothes with movement by adding fringe, tassels, and other kinetic elements. Salvatore Ferragamo’s collection looked especially good on the runway when it combined all of the same elements, as in the case of feathered maxi skirts, gauzy two-tone gowns, and disc-covered dresses. There was also a strong focus on accessories, which should be the brand’s cornerstone category. Micro snakeskin belt bags, reptile hide totes, pastel sandals, and graphic snakeskin thigh-high boots were all fantastic additions to the line-up.
All of this was a lead-up to an epic introduction to Ferragamo’s new fragrance, ‘Amo Ferragamo’, which took place after the show. Radiant blossoms cascaded down the facade of the Palazzo Mezzanotte, designed by Ingo Maurer GmbH, in every way the opposite of the insolent sculpture that lead the proceedings.