Once designed for women with budgets in polar opposition to mine, women about to take off on a fantastical and lavish holiday, resort collections were also secondary occurrences to their ready-to-wear sibling, dignified with a lookbook at best.
Last night in Paris, Salvatore Ferragamo went quite radically the other way. The Florentine label, sponsors of the current Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the Louvre, used the opportunity to throw a lavish runway show at the museum, with a couture-worthy casting and front row.
As the likes of Karolina Kurkova, Fei Fei Sun, Isabeli Fontani and Jamie Bochert were doing final fittings backstage, actresses including Hillary Swank, Freida Pinto (casually rocking ballet flats), and a strawberry-blond Leighton Meester filled the seats (and grabbed a few goodie bags in the process).
“This all started with Alber Elbaz’ tiny, exclusive cruise presentations, that suddenly everyone wanted to see,” said Jessica Michault, editor-in-chief of Nowfashion, minutes before the show. “An event always promotes a brand.”
The collection was of a game of contrasts, between flesh tones and Art Nouveau-esque silver appliqués, suede fringes and paper-thin knits, flowy layers and chunky patchwork. In an aim to “link nature to something more modern” said head designer Massimiliano Giornetti, the clothes referenced any number of summery fantasies, merging 1970’s Big Sur, Greek Antiquity, and a touch of disco dancing.
“Cruise tends to be much more commercial--roughly 60 percent of turnover--but this collection felt both directional and wearable, and younger than I’ve ever seen it,” Michault added.
More casual, a tad more affordable--could resort be the way of the future? The dinner that followed certainly suggested the grass is at its greenest on that side of the fashion field: A casual, intimate, feast for...hundreds where chefs cooked before our very eyes and VIP tour of the museum.
“After pre-fall in New York, resort in Paris is something totally new for the brand,” said Ilaria Norsa, daughter of company CEO Michele Norsa and effortless socialite. “It’s all due to the web: Fashion today needs to be fed continuously, and this collection offers something different but equally as important,” she said. “Who knows what the next step is for resort – a campaign perhaps?”
Click through to see the full collection, plus pix of the elegant setting and starry front row.
Photos: Courtesy Ferragamo and BFA