It is a never ending dilemma for designers who are brought into historic fashion houses. How to balance the needs of the past, the codes of the brand, the expectations of its loyal customers, with what is required to give it a future: innovation, experimentation and originality. This is a quandary that Massimiliano Giornetti continues to find himself in at Salvatore Ferragamo.
Since he took over as creative director of the womenswear line in 2010, Giornetti has danced back and forth between Ferragamo’s illustrious past and what he sees for its future. Sometimes the designer sways too far back into tradition, other times he pushes a bit too hard into the here and now. But one area the designer has gotten a firm grip on is the luxury aspect of the house. He handles the buttery leathers, snake skins, silks and cashmere fabrics deftly. It is just the way he decides to use them that can sometimes feel a bit forced.
For every chic, shimmering blue and green tinged python jacket, flap fronted kilt skirt, or belted black trench coat in his spring summer 2014 show, there was a knit sweater that closed at the back but left gaping holes down the spine, cropped pinstripe jackets that had the bottom half acting like a peplum on the pants, or snake skin bra tops.
There was more then enough in this collection for the brand's loyal customers to love. It just remains to be seen if what Giornetti is doing will entice a new generation into Ferragamo’s stores.