Monday, 2 August 2010
Salvatore Ferragamo. Go on say it. The words trip off the tongue, implicit with elegance, refinement and synonymous with shoes.
Ferragamo was more a shoe architect than a shoe maker and ultimately linked fashion and culture making shoes for Hollywood stars both on and off set. If Rita Hayworth, Sofia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Ava Gardner, Katharine Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Bette Davis were the silver screen icons and sex symbols of the day, then shod in Ferragamo they became goddesses. The ultimate fetish...a beautiful screen idol in a Ferragamo fetish shoe.
Ferragamo's shoe designs were both revolutionary and complex. He was influenced by architecture and form, creating wedge heels and platforms in pressed and rounded layers, sculptured and painted, decorated with small glass mirrors using an ancient mosaic technique more associated with architecture than cordwainers.
The inventor of such concepts as cork sandals, the invisible shoe and the stiletto heel, Ferragamo experimented with materials, ideas and creativity to create sexy, rounded, voluptuous objects of beauty which paved the way for shoe design. Due to a shortage of materials during the lean years of the mid 1930's, Ferragamo designed heels obtained by sewing together the corks of wine bottles and then lining them with leather.
Post war, in 1947, he created and designed a continuous thread upper consisting of a transparent nylon thread-like element which gave rise to the invisible sandal - beauty, form and elegance. But it was in 1955 that Ferragamo gave us the stiletto heel. He propped women up on incredible slim high heels after studying a special support pillar. Thus, longer appearing legs and a sexy gait were born. We are eternally grateful Mr Ferragamo. Women of the world owe you debts of gratitude.
And now, fifty years after Ferragamo's death, the fashion house is fast becoming more relevant. In an over crowded designer market, name carries weight and implicit trust. Massimiliano Giornetti, the company's menswear designer has recently taken over the reins on the women's side. His aim? To return the brand to its roots. Injecting design with a lot of 'nowness', Giornetti was influenced by a '70's take on Garbo's 1930's wardrobe which was bang on trend. Neat, sleek and luxurious, the clothes oozed a modern sensibility paired with Ferragamo's classic house restraint. How very grown up.
Which leads me to the launch of new fragrance, Attimo: A very grown up fragrance shot through with sophistication and subtlety which is less new cult classic and more hewn with heritage and style. To know it is to wear it.
Attimo means 'instant' and represents the pleasure of savouring each instant and making the most of every moment. Imbued with innate elegance, timeless glamour and a hint of seduction, this light fragrance aims to please but pleases by caressing fingertips rather than dipping ample cleavage.
There's a light peary sparkle opener which hints of youth and there's a touch of exotic kumquat in there before leading to the lotus flower floral heart. Soft florals brush the skin as gardenia, frangipani and peony combine to create a posy to be carried for beauty and effect rather than announcing the wearer's arrival. This is no ribald scent. It is the underlying addictive blend of musks, cedarwood and patchoulli that mean business. She may not be up front but she knows how to make her mark.
The bottle is typically Ferragamo elegant with curves, texture and polish. Created by renowned designer, Sylvie de France, she was inspired by the archived multicoloured wedge shoes created by Ferragamo for Judy Garland. It's slightly asymmetrical form is embellished with a gold strip reading Attimo in distinctive Ferragamo red. It's as cool as the Craig McDean photographed ad campaign featuring Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel and great grand daughter of Ernest. Not only that, the latest A/W 10 advertising campaign for the clothing line has just been photographed by Bruce Weber.
This brand knows how to do class.
Attimo launches October 2010. A 50ml EDP is £58; A 30ml EDP is £39. Bath & shower gel and body lotion are also available.
Catwalk pic of Ferragamo A/W '10 courtesy of www.style.com. Fragrance advertising photographed by Craig McDean. Clothing advertising photographed by Bruce Weber.
Do you love Ferragamo and its history? What do you think of the house's move forward? Please leave a comment in the comment box below or in the 'shout mix' comment box at the side. It's easy to do and I'd love to hear from you.