New Gianfranco Ferré design duo gets off on the right foot
It was surreal landing in Milan, Italy, for fashion week, gearing up to look at expensive clothes on the runway while we're in the midst of a global banking crisis. Who's going to buy these things? Ah well, I guess no matter what's happening in the world, we all gotta get dressed.
Still, it's not the best time for a luxury brand to be relaunching, which is exactly what's happening with Gianfranco Ferré. The Italian designer known for his architectural approach, his passion for India and his genius white blouses, died last year. But as we all know, in fashion a label never dies. So on Sunday, a new Ferré was unveiled under the direction of the two most up-and-coming designers in Milan, Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi of 6267 fame.
It was a great start. The design duo focused on sculptural pieces with architectural details -- such as ruffles down the front of a pencil skirt, and pieced together cap sleeves on a molded jacket that brought to mind a "Star Trek" uniform -- all in subdued black, white and gray.
Skinny pants and skirts had side pockets with origami-like folds and were worn with severely tailored tunics with jeweled belts. And of course, there were white shirts, the best an oval shape with a sheer back and leg o' mutton sleeves. The shoes were geometric wonders with open oval or spindly jeweled heels.
It was a high impact show. And yet, there was something stiff and unemotional about it too, like they were trying too hard to prove they are serious designers at their young ages. No matter, that impulse should wear off.
Later that night, I sat next to Stefano Bacchini, who is in charge of sales for Ferré. He said there are plans to overhaul all the Ferré stores around the world, including the one on Rodeo Drive. "We are starting from scratch," Bacchini said. Forget the designers, he has the heavy lifting.
-- Booth Moore
Photos: Gianfranco Ferré Spring/Summer 2009 runway show in Milan, Italy. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times