Wild applause came before the Ferragamo show started. It was for audience member Flavia Pennetta, the tennis ace who beat a fellow Italian in the US Open and is now a national hero.
But the mood of the show itself was less festive. A runway of white Carrara marble — from creative director Massimiliano Giornetti's home city — paved the way for a grand collection.
"Unexpected austerity" was the designer's take on regal black dresses and narrow monkish capes that seemed noble and elegant - but unusual for a summer collection. Only a few seasons ago, the designer was showing a fashion idyll of outfits fit for Italian beach resorts.
There were some colourful and summery dresses, long, but with a deep frill at the neckline, and perhaps layers of the same for a skirt. The hemlines ended just above the ankle — the better to reveal elegant sandals laced up, on one occasion with colourful orange, pink and blue straps, while some had soft thick trainer soles.
And therein lies the eternal conflict of Ferragamo's position: it is known globally for its footwear which a marble foundation suits to perfection. The clothing side is nice enough, but it does not have the killer serve you need in fashion, as much as in tennis.