Maximilian Davis updates the Hollywood home’s history

It’s been just under a year since Maximilian Davis was named Ferragamo’s creative director, but he’s needed almost no time to make a statement at the brand. He made waves with his first runway this past September, the spring 2023 lauded “New Dawn” line, in which he leaned heavily towards the color red. And on Saturday, February 25th, he avoided a sophomore slump by showcasing another gorgeous collection.

For fall 2023, Davis looked to the brand’s classic Hollywood past, drawing references from the wardrobes of iconic stars Salvatore Ferragamo himself worked with.

“That’s how Ferragamo started, making shoes for movies in the 1930s, and how it evolved to build relationships with movie stars like Sophia Loren and Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s,” Davis said in the program notes. “I was interested in using her glamor and beauty, and her way of dressing, as a reference, but looking at how we could make it modern for today.”

In less capable hands, these references can appear cryptic or fantasized. In Davis’ hands, they transform into sleek, almost minimalist designs with a feminine touch.

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Giant furry overcoats were styled over stirrup leggings, knits were worn slung over the shoulders and cropped over high-waisted pants, and dresses made in everything from satin and lame to leather were elegantly gathered and draped. Cocoon shapes were key, seen in suits and outerwear.

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Referencing the biker counterculture of the 1950s, several pieces of men’s and women’s clothing had zippers or fabric cuts that opened to reveal a flash of what became their signature red underneath. And alongside these looks were pieces chosen for their softness to reference the use of scarves – fitting for the Florentine home with a long history of rich silk scarves.

“I wanted to present the more romantic side of the ’50s, and the two elements seem to contrast so directly – ethereal versus rigor – that they somehow go hand in hand,” says Davis.

The collection’s exotic prints were scanned from the archives before being printed onto pieces such as wool coats and bags “with a slight distortion to make them look like heirloom pieces, taken from the past but brought into the future”. The angular wedge pumps paired with many of the looks were also archival reference, stealing their shape from a 1956 shoe originally crafted in 18k gold; the stilettos also mimicked the curve of the original style.

However, if social media is any indication – and it usually is – the most successful look was a deceptively simple white jumpsuit and matching pants, with oversized gold earrings serving as the only decoration. While Davis references women from several decades ago, what he created is another collection filled with the types of pieces that women today will want to wear.

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD/Getty Images

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