Stripes, whether vertical or horizontal, are the name of the game right down to the shoes at Salvatore Ferragamo this afternoon. In fact, there were so many stripes that at times they almost clashed with the rainbow-striped runway. This is a brightly colored collection that stands out quite dramatically against the more frequently darker tones we usually see for the fall/winter season. Granted, bright colors are rather common for this 96-year-old house and as they approach their century mark with great anticipation, creative director Massimiliano Giornetti shows no sign of backing off the elements that have made this brand so popular.
Watching this collection walk the runway, one might get the impression that Giornetti first thought of stripes as a concept, then considered every possible direction they could run and set out to see how many of those he could use in one collection. The apparent answer: all of them. There are horizontal stripes. There are vertical stripes. There are diagonal stripes. And there are stripes that zig and zag in overstated fashion. More realistically, these are more like racing stripes in the tradition of Italian F1 motorsports. However one chooses to look at them, they’re still bright and running every which way.
Giornetti doesn’t just use color to create his stripes, though. Elements such as raised seams with scalloped edges and vertical zippers partially unfastened work just as well so that a few solid colored pieces can be included. After all, more solemn events require dressing that doesn’t shout upon one’s entrance. There are several black and white pieces that use these elements to great effect. Layering also creates some striping in a horizontal sense, and there’s one piece where it seems that perhaps the designer took loops of fabric lying together and just stitched them together across the top. Truly, he was extremely creative in finding as many different ways to create stripes as possible.
Interestingly enough, where we don’t see as much color is in the shoes for which this house is known. Here, the colors tend to run darker, with blacks and browns dominating. The striped pattern is here as well, but its tricolor arrangement is limited to deep earth tones, not nearly as loud or exciting as the clothes above them. A late appearing slipper shoe actually looks out of place against the well-tailored garments.
Whether or not one likes this collection depends on how tolerant one is of stripes. There are some of the large zig-zag patterns that remind me a bit too much of the Peanuts lead character, Charlie Brown. There’s also an exaggerated take on houndstooth that, doesn’t fit well with my personal aesthetic, but such choices are strictly personal and shouldn’t reflect ill on the collection itself. The Fall/Winter season can use a little color and for this year Ferragamo has got all the color one could possibly want.