Chains That Bond Paul Andrew defines the modern and strong Ferragamo woman with a look to the past and future.
Paul Andrew is confidently settling into his role as Creative Director overseeing the men’s, women’s and accessories collections for Salvatore Ferragamo since being appointed to the top role in 2019. One of the secrets to his success in developing the new Ferragamo lifestyle is his ability to define his men and women through both a contemporary and retro look as he discovers the many facets of the Ferragamo codes in its vast archives. Apparently, they hold upwards of 14,000 shoes and more. For Fall 2020, “strength and empowerment” was the message for his Ferragamo woman.
Playing muse was a variety of female archetypes – the queen, the lover, the sage, the mother, the maiden, the huntress and the mystic. Andrew put a face to these types on his inspiration board which featured statues of Greek/Roman goddesses, Wanda Ferragamo (wife of Salvatore), Marilyn Monroe, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Virginia Woolf, Kate Bush, Rihanna and Sharon Stone and Sayoko Yamaguchi, the uber-successful Asian model from the 80s.
But models weren’t the only 80s icon at play. Andrew plucked a botanical themed print that Fulvia Ferragamo designed in the decade of excess that still holds up today – even more so as its organic natures speaks to today’s “green” trend that appeared as an embroidery on a sweater or a print on a Macintosh with removable scarf worn by Kara Taylor. The scarf had a key part in this show but not the silk carré style but rather what Andrew refers to “the idea of scarf dressing. It gives this incredible drama and femininity and draped fabric look.”
A series of herringbones tropical wools gave a sense of Italian 80s draped tailoring and offered some fresh silhouettes. A tromp l’oeil high-waisted pant which was really a natural waist with a removable bodice or a cropped and inverted pleats boxy cropped jacket with leather sleeves. Leather looks were strong on model Carolyn Murphy in a tan sleeveless belted tailored dress or grey trench that feature the scarf treatment.
Leather is the leitmotif at casa Ferragamo but this time around it was used more restrained throughout the collection and in a wholly upcycled manner – a concept that is more than just lip service these days – here in Milan. “Many of the shoes and bags have been upcycled,” Andrew told The Impression backstage. “I found leather in the warehouse from seasons past that I had dyed in the colors of this season. All of the open weave designs on the shoes and bags were made from that leather.”
Perhaps the biggest shocker was the gold chain link that became a cool fringed skirt and dress and was even woven into wools as pinstripes. “I discovered this artwork that was developed by the Ghanaian artist El Anatsui made from metal links that covered the Fortuny Palazzo in Venice during the Bienalle” he said. “I saw it at the end when the wind had gotten underneath it and shredded it so it looked like these chains were falling.” The artist is known for his own sort of upcycling using materials like metal from liquor bottle caps. In this way Andrew and El Anatsui both share a fondness for strong beauty found in what has been left behind.