It’s yet another stark reminder of the reverberating effects of the coronavirus crisis: first there were the art fairs, the film and music festivals…and now the fashion shows have gone essentially virtual.
There are some positives to consider: with hundreds of editors and stylists not having to fly to Paris, London, NYC and Milan every year, an industry which tended to be a bit selective about its eco efforts is now decisively reducing its carbon footprint. And, well, smaller fashion houses especially will have greatly reduced costs. But just as with, say, Art Basel, even if you didn’t have the privilege (and sometimes hassle) of attending, there was something about the from the scene reportage of the fashion shows that made it an imperative part of the annual cultural buzz buzz.
And so here we have the striking images from the socially distanced / digital transmitted shows, specifically those of Ferragamo. What we will be adjusting to for now, are fashion shows without an actual audience. But the house that Salvatore built has risen decisively to the occasion; indeed, for the Spring/Summer 2021 collection, Brit Creative Director Paul Andrew cultivated a particularly unexpected inspiration, and the results are nothing short of breathtaking.
“This spring, stuck at home, I rewatched classic Hitchcock,” he recalls, “in particular Marnie, The Birds and Vertigo. In the past, watching those movies has always felt like inhabiting a surreal and strange world. But watching them during lockdown was different: they felt like ‘real life,’ because ‘real life’ itself had suddenly become so strange, surreal and oddly beautiful.”
Playing to the theme, the bold, vibrant color schemes of the collection include Hedren Green, Vertigo Mauve, Technicolor Yellow, Lobster Mousse, and Bodega Bay Sky; but they’re set against the balancing tones of Gull Grey, Sparrow and the decisively pithy Hitchcock Tan. Fan’s of the exalted director should delight in the references—but you don’t need to be film aficionado to appreciate the clothes.
As for highlights Ferragamo’s artisan traditions are on show in the form of hand-applied feathers, as well as a “floating” string skirt that had actually been handspun. And the eco zeitgeist also gets a nod, with sustainable-grade wool/mohair crafted into outerwear. For the boys? Twill overalls—because…why not?
And though the new collection includes updates of classic handbags like the Studio Bag and the Trifolio, a totally new bag again riffs on the theme, inspired as it was by the Hitchcock classic Marnie.
“There are several direct homages to key Hitchcock moments in the collection,” Andrew explains, “and the collection echoes that gorgeous, hyper-real level of color saturation that is so evident in the beautiful Technicolor masterpiece that is Vertigo.”
And he knows a thing or two about masterpieces.