A word to sum up Paul Andrew’s offering for the season: Cool.
It’s an unexpected term to associate with the Florentine fashion house known for its grown-up sophistication but simply put, Andrew has made the brand hip again.
A Shoe-in Formula
The starting point of Andrew’s collection began with a pair of archival shoes (circa 1942) and in the style of a colourful patchwork suede wedge. Not a surprising approach considering footwear is the Englishman’s forte.
The first shoe designer to win the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, Andrew also began his career at Ferragamo in September 2016 as design director for women’s footwear. Not to be confused with the vibrant 1938 rainbow platform wedge made for Judy Garland, Andrew’s Forties shoe inspo did however, embody a similar Bauhaus colour influence as well.
Its multicolour blocking style carried through within the collection’s narrative as earthy shades fashioned into pieces crafted out of buttery lambskin, suede (or both). Coupled with sportswear leanings, there were zip fastenings, in addition to elastic cinchers on the hemlines and waists to convey a modern, utilitarian vibe. These finer details gave a nod to the youthful twists, which Andrew normally adds to his otherwise uptown, tailored repertoire.
Elsewhere, the designer used the likes of silk scarf motifs to heighten the muted palette into more of a kaleidoscopic/gemstone colour appeal. These feminine flora and fauna prints were then tailored into breezy column dresses, an elegant midi skirt and in one super coveted and chic rendition, a handsome pyjama suit.
Andrew’s debut collection for the house in Spring 2018 was also the brand’s first men’s and women’s presentation combined. Back then, Guillaume Meilland spearheaded the menswear’s categories, while Andrew took care of womenswear as creative director for the brand’s women’s collections.
This has changed slightly with Andrew’s new appointment in February year, as Ferragamo’s creative director — a position that has him assume the role of overseeing all of the label’s design operations.
Guillaume is still in charge of menswear and works closely with Andrew to develop that consummate synergy we’ve seen between both collections thus far. Kickstarting this show with 3 looks cut from pinstriped fabrics, the running theme on sportswear fashion was in fact, first cited here. One of the stellar pieces was the opening look in itself: A double-breasted oversized jacket with hood, worn by Ethiopian-born model Liya Kabede.
Fresh Coat, New Look
One of the standouts were the collection’s range of coats. Cut oversized and rounded for the most part, the proportions were intriguingly understated and elegant, as opposed to running the risk of appearing dowdy, sloppy or shapeless.
There was also a silhouette and style, fit for women from various walks of life, race, or for that matter, age. The show’s multigenerational casting channelled the latter point perfectly and further reinforced the collection’s overriding theme: Generation.
This ties in with the brand’s vision for its new boxyz bag, which targets one bag for every woman. “Selecting a handbag that will be with you every day is an intensely personal choice,” mused Andrew on the brand’s website on style longevity. Available in three sizes, this structured bag can be toted by its stately top-handle or hoisted casually on its sling.
The runway also boasted some other bag styles, which complemented the collection’s modern, soft tailoring. Supple bucket bags came in sizes both big and small, some of which were cut from a highland-style check cloth and trimmed in fringe. And then, there were some classic, slouchy offerings by way of a suede hobo sling in sage green, a top-handle flap bag in dark grainy leather and even a Boston style from the men’s collection that women could rock.
A review on Voguerunway.com concludes that Andrew’s approach to ready-to-wear is as he enthuses: “Dressing toe to head”. There was special thought put into the styling of footwear, as seen with a unique and recurring theme using socks. There were also some wide-legged boots fashioned from leather, or canvas featuring the famed Ferragamo buckle print.
Image credits: Runway images courtesy of Ferragamo, artwork by Curatedition. Ferragamo AW 2019 looks as worn on Artiste Jeanette Aw: styling by Sharon Tulasidas, Photography by Wee Khim, Hair by David Han/Passion, Make-up by Clarence Lee.