Paul Andrew is a resourceful one. For his much-anticipated first ready-to-wear collection as women’s creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo, the British designer turned to the Italian luxury label’s vast knowledge of leather making to create statement clothing just as sumptuous as the footwear.
“That’s one of the best things about the brand,” Andrew told FN backstage after the show, which was held Saturday morning at the Piazza Affari during Milan FashionWeek. “Leather should be a code that we embrace because we, of course, are a heritage luxury leather goods brand. I wanted to bring that leather into the garments, too.”
Pairings for the fall 2018 collection included a “parakeet” green suede coat with olive-toned calf-leather boots (both punctuated with green leather gloves and a handbag matching the coat), a baby blue ostrich leather overcoat that contrasted with black ostrich leather over-the-knee boots and a playful purple hued suit with white leather boots. A pair of red merino shearling knee boots played to full-on texture with a burgundy velvet dress and red calf-leather jacket.
“Design is designed at the end of the day,” Andrew said of his crossover into ready-to-wear. “If you asked me to design a chair or a hotel suite I’m sure I could do it. But as with any job, you build an incredible team around you and they help you manifest that vision. I’m working with some of the best talents in the industry.”
Andrew also expanded on the gold-toned hardware that he first introduced in 2016 when he was named women’s footwear design director for Ferragamo. The accents have clearly distinguished his designs for the house. Instead of the sculptural wedges and flower shapes of previous seasons, the designer opted this time for galvanized block heels that were pulled from archival 1930s-era styles, with a distinct metallic glazing that was finished in an auto factory. He also added the brand’s signature Gancini logo to boot heels and tabs for an easy pull on.
“My idea is that we’re really taking the brand to a much higher level in terms of quality and fit and execution,” said Andrew. “I wanted every girl to come out looking completely immaculate. We spent a lot of time working and reworking to make sure it all fit perfectly.”
Menswear design director Guillaume Meilland showed his designs alongside the women’s looks (the brand opted out of Milan Men’s Fashion Week show in January), which were equally sumptuous: There were relaxed leather trousers done in the same parakeet green as the women’s looks, paired with olive green leather lace-ups, red and brown leather shoes with gold Gancini hardware adorning the heels.