Perhaps athwart the “dumbing down rising” reality brought on by short attention span social media, fashion houses seem to be taking the lead in urging us back towards more thoughtful explorations of the contemporary culture.
To wit, for its Autumn/Winter Womenswear show at Milan Fashion Week, Ferragamo reached back a century to challenge Carl Jung’s observations on the seven female archetypes: the mother, the maiden, the queen, the huntress, the wise woman, the mystic and the lover. (To be honest, most women we know are a little bit of all…and more.) In this, the early 21st Century, women are thoroughly defining themselves, and fashion is obliged to follow their lead.
“The notion of fitting into a set ‘type’ feels increasingly obsolete today,” new Creative Director Paul Andrew insists, “for both for women and men. Now I think the identities we choose to wear today are not fixed through a single filter—they are a shifting kaleidoscope, a collage of characteristics and qualities.”
Of course, Ferragamo is ever about footwear above all. But this collection was Andrew’s head-to-toe meditation on the modern woman represented by the brand’s aesthetic and philosophical ethos. So, chained fringe skirts and dresses representing power, sheer botanical shirts and skirts representing softness, leather work pants representing pragmatism, and a Vara grosgrained garlanded dress representing romance.
Notable were several new and much buzzed about versions of the classic Viva shoe, including powerful block heel thigh-highs and flat slingbacks. The Trifolio and Studio bags were also granted a thoughtful remodel.
“Key to this collection was considering some of the many women we idolize,” Andrew continues. “We found a book by Fulvia Ferragamo in which she collected botanical images for inspiration: we used this across the collection in print, knitwear and also embroidered onto shirting. We also considered a multifaceted range of female heroes from Virginia Woolf to Nancy Pelosi via Michelle Obama and Nina Simone, and worked to reflect their intelligence, bravery and beauty in the collection.”
And in an increasingly ugly world, intelligence, bravery and beauty are more exigent than ever.