At Ferragamo’s fall-winter 2023 show, Maximilian Davis put glamour in proverbial neon lights, but “condensed it to an outline, a silhouette, a memory”, writes Anders Christian Madsen. Below, his five key takeaways from the show.
It was about Hollywood glamour
Halfway through an awards season that looks more like a costume ball than red carpet glamour, the reduction with which the Milan designers are approaching the latter this season is a godsend. At Ferragamo, Maximilian Davis put that word— glamour—in proverbial neon lights, too, but condensed it to an outline, a silhouette, a memory. “Ferragamo started making shoes for films in the 1930s, and that grew into building relationships with movie stars like Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s,” he explained. “I was interested in using their glamour and beauty, and their way of dressing, as a reference, but looking at how we could make it feel modern for today.”
It was Davis’ second collection for Ferragamo
Davis’ sophomore collection for Ferragamo was a natural progression from his debut: a slight evolution of the strong, clean tailoring and sheathing, slithering dress constructions he carried over to the house from his eponymous Fashion East presentations during and after the pandemic, but resolved and refined to a more sophisticated degree. The glamour he proposed couldn’t have been further from the kind we’re currently witnessing on the red carpets, and what a relief. Letting theatrics fade to the background, Davis made bold propositions through cut and fabrication, echoing those Old Hollywood moments passed down through our collective memory in a more contemporary form.
It fused glamour with futurism
Tackling the tradition of mirroring glamour in futurism, Davis applied a kind of space age silhouette to his tailoring, expressed in cocooned coats and orbital sleeves. A model in white leggings and a white jacket with the sleeves in question carried her handbag like an astronaut carries their helmet, and the grey suede trench coats that appeared later on looked like Star Trek uniforms. On the men’s side, mercurial silver suits and tailoring with incisions at the ribs and elbows— not to mention the sliced-up trouser hems that featured throughout the show – felt quite sci-fi, too, but not in a fancy dress way. To hammer home the point, the show took place in a spaceship-like conference center decked out in icy grey carpet.
There was workwear, too
In aiming his approach towards professional and occasion dressing, Davis is staying on the path of the Ferragamo realm. But between the architectonic suits and statement dresses, the designer made a few propositions for workwear, the Ferragamo way: flight-y shearling jackets remained true to the spaceship vibe, followed closely by sporty shell-like suits in bright blue and yellow. For night-time spacewalking, there was a black vinyl chore jacket with a matching trouser, and a blueish-grey denim trouser, styled tonally with a similarly colored ribbed knit top, was the closest you could get to a Ferragamo weekend look.
Davis proposed a new heel shape
In the accessories department, Davis unearthed from the Ferragamo archives a shoe from 1956 forged in 18 ct gold and reinterpreted it for his futuristic disposition. The result was an angular shape with a broken heel in various versions of shiny sci-fi leather. The Wanda handbag from 1988, which Davis up- and down-scaled last season, multiplied and morphed into square and rectangular dimensions— its alien stiffness lending itself well to his season theme. Bakelite jewelry— presumably from archive bag and shoe ornamentation—was reimagined as clear resin pendants on dresses.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.