September 22, 2008
Cristina Ortiz took a second stab at establishing a new identity for Salvatore Ferragamo today. Unfortunately, it didn't fare much better than her bumpy first effort. You could see that she was trying to manipulate elements of the house's accessories into the clothing: D-ring closures on suits, leather shoulder straps complete with buckles for dresses. She played a bit with classics such as the trench and the crisp men's shirt as well, turning the former into a strapless dress and the latter into a bustier with a wide leather belt below the bust. As ideas they were interesting, but in execution they looked tricky. As for her eveningwear, mostly plissé halter dresses with deep bunches of fabric at the waist and hips, the fit was not only unflattering but often poor; nipple slippage is one thing on the runway, quite another in real life.
It's not clear whom Ortiz is targeting with these clothes. They're far too racy for Ferragamo's classic customer, and yet not on-trend enough to woo new ones. If there was a glimmer of hope to be found, it was in her suits. There's still too much going on around the waistand no one wants to add bulk therebut color choices like a pale lilac or the soft drape of a lapel betray an appreciation of the feminine that seems otherwise curiously lacking in this female designer.