A colourful image, inspired by the kinetic art popularised in the Twenties and Thirties, was hung on the mood board backstage at the Salvatore Ferragamo show.
The geometric-patterned carpet on the runway, and a precise patchwork fur coat of different coloured squares both seemed linked to that little drawing. The illustration had been made for an early Salvatore Ferragamo ad campaign, and designer Massimiliano Giornetti indeed marked it as his starting point.
“I began with the spirit of the 1930s — but there were many other things: manipulating leather, creating a new language to make the clothes rigorously constructed — and to show off the shoes,” said the designer, who told me that the fur coat was intarsia made out of 700 pieces.
It was refreshing to hear a designer of a famous shoe house caring about how the wedges and platforms were seen by the audience.
That included the Indian actress Freida Pinto. She told me that she had worked on a documentary called India’s Daughter, about awareness of rape in the subcontinent.
On the runway, the clothes were strict in the cutting of leather — for example a pleated skirt where each knife-sharp line revealed chiffon inside.
The general silhouette had a raised waist, but the tailoring was softened by elasticised, knitted capes that bobbed down the runway just above the floor.
The graphic squares on dresses became more intense towards the end of the evening outfits. Yet there was a strong sense that Giornetti was in control of shape and pattern.
The result may not be specifically identifiable as Ferragamo, but there was a sense of fine quality — right down to the tongue-front shoes that reflected the show’s geometry.