Clockwise from top left: Raschel knit tank top and dress. The Salvatore Ferragamo’s spring/summer 2020 runway show at Rotonda della Besana, Milan. The first look of an all-white ensemble. Close-up looks backstage of the new Viva pumps, paired with silk ankle socks for a youthful spirit
There is a sense of lightness and joyfulness to Creative Director Paul Andrew’s fourth show for Salvatore Ferragamo. His inspiration for the Italian house’s spring/ summer 2020 collection springs from a photograph of a summer vacation he took with his family in Sicily during the ’80s. Andrew wanted to capture the carefree spirit and sun‑drenched innocence of that idyllic island getaway of his childhood. With that in mind, he blanketed the collection with resort‑ready looks and swimwear—a refreshing sight to behold.
In the photograph, “we were wearing Bermuda prints and smiles,” said Andrew, who translated these into the abstract prints on some of the pieces in the collection. Another print that featured prominently on shirts and dresses was inspired by the marble and bronze statues of the Fountain of Neptune in Florence, a 16 ‑century monument recently restored to its former glory with the support of the Ferragamo family. While the eye‑catching prints were notable aspects of the collection’s story, it was the overarching colour palette reminiscent of a summer sunset, the choice of materials and the fuss‑free silhouettes that made us linger for a closer look.
“I wanted to start the season with a clean slate, a palate cleanser of sorts,” explained the English designer as he walked the press through the collection, starting with the first look: a full‑white ensemble comprised of a bubble‑hemmed leather skirt and a bare‑backed knit top. It set the tone for the rest of the looks that followed: lightweight leathers in summery hues and peek‑a‑boo knits, worn with a youthful disposition.
Silhouettes and styles were kept classic and minimalistic, but skewed to the spirit of modern times; a more casual and “street” take, if you’d like. Oversize blazers were worn with drawstring trousers and a relaxed tank top; buttery leather hoodies were casually thrown over almost anything; knit tops were paired with matching mini shorts that are all the rage this season. Easy, one‑piece wonders such as overalls and ankle‑grazing shirt dresses sealed the deal for an effortless wardrobe. Andrew reimagined the brand’s iconic Vara pumps with a sleeker, sharper shape in monochromatic hues. Christening it the Viva, he sent this new icon down the runway.
With his eye firmly on the future, Andrew still paid tribute to Ferragamo’s leather‑making heritage with many separates crafted in the softest hide— an unusual choice for a spring/summer collection, which typically features lighter materials. Even the sunglasses were framed in the same leather that is usually used for shoes.
With his emphasis on craftsmanship, he imbues the collection with depth, dimension and character.
As he told Harper’s BAZAAR Australia: “My mother was an executive at a computer company and dressed up every day. My father was the upholsterer to the Queen. I was raised in an environment where there was a huge focus on technology on one side and artisanship on the other. At that time, I didn’t realise the effect it had on me. It aligns with Ferragamo’s values: hi‑tech meets high craft.” Andrew went on to wax lyrical about the intricacy of the weft and warp yarns in a dress specially hand‑crocheted by a Florentine woman, how the ends of the crepe de chine ribbons of a Raschel knit tank dress and top were deliberately left raw to draw attention to its handcrafted quality, and the hand‑tacked leather sleeves of a tailored linen blazer.
Presenting a collection that is modern and experimental, yet true to the brand’s roots, Andrew has made great strides in revolutionising a heritage leather house into a multi‑faceted luxury maison for 2020 and beyond.
Clockwise from left: A forest green matching knit set topped with an oversize leather coat—a perfect ensemble for transitional weather. Silk devore dress featuring the statues of the Fountain of Neptune. The charming locale complemented the collection perfectly. Sophisticated leather-framed sunglasses. Overalls and a scarf cap in a print reminiscent of that on Paul Andrew’s childhood beachwear
PHOTOGRAPHY: SALVATORE FERRAG AMO