The inspiration behind Paul Andrew’s latest collection for Salvatore Ferragamo was sparked by a precious childhood memory. “It started with a photo on my mother’s mantelpiece of my brother and I on a summer holiday in Italy when we were kids in the 1980s,” Andrew revealed to me backstage. “I wanted to bring that feeling of fun and sun-drenched innocence into a modern context with a collection that is physically very light and knowingly bourgeois which also has tangible depth, substance, and care in its construction.”
Set on the historic grounds of Milan’s Rotanda della Besana, Andrew’s notion of family and “joyful living” was conveyed onto the runway where his nonchalant collection embodied the Florentine luxury label’s passion for tradition and artisanal craftsmanship. The show opened with model-of-the-moment Binx Walton in a head-to-toe white ensemble. The clothes were tailored in soft fabrics with comfortable volumes, channelling an elegant yet simple, almost minimalist, aesthetic. What’s more, Andrew also took the opportunity to showcase his newest take on the brand’s iconic shoe, the Vara, where he slightly tweaked the design to present the updated version which he aptly named the Viva. The ballerina flats come in multiple colourways and are adorned with an enlarged bow for a modernist feminine touch.
The monochromatic looks made way for ‘80s inspired shapes and silhouettes. From bubble skirts, puffed sleeved shirts to wide-legged dungarees, Andrew’s interpretation of that era which Andrews described as “pared-down” evoked a sense of quiet luxury. Smooth nappa leather was omnipresent throughout the collection in the form of jumpsuits, button down jackets and miniskirts–that seemed perfectly light for summer dressing.Furthermore, prints took inspiration from Ammannati’s 16th Century Fountain of Neptune in Florence – recently restored thanks to the funding by the Ferragamo family- were played against oversized tulip prints on scarf-caps, breezy silk devore dresses, and swimwear.
Apart from the Viva shoes, Andrew’s also experimented with unconventional materials and finishes in the footwear department. There were colour-blocked strappy sandals, transparent PVC heels and cool ostrich espadrilles that complemented each look that went down the runway. Elsewhere, one of the brand’s top-selling Trifilio bags comes in leather-lined canvas, hand-woven leather mesh, and ostrich and presented in a new shoulder slung size for the warmer season.
Indeed, Andrew’s latest collection proved that he honed his skills as a creative director of the Florentine luxury brand by producing yet another ultra-sophisticated collection that exudes timeless appeal which he described to me as “precious but never heavy, these are clothes, shoes and bags to cherish far beyond a single season for many summers to come.”