34 posts tagged "Salvatore Ferragamo"
Let’s be real here. Fashion is a hypercompetitive industry full of people who can be witheringly (but often hilariously) critical of each other. So when it comes time for an awards gala, wherein the members of the fashion scene must play nice and hand out plaudits to their peers, most people cope by sighing into their free Champagne and mumbling that so-and-so was sorely overlooked…as usual. But every so often, an award is given out to a designer who is so self-evidently deserving that only the most vicious fashion misanthrope could protest. Such was the case recently at the Footwear News FN Awards, where Charlotte Dellal took home the Designer of the Year honor for her rapidly expanding five-year-old brand, Charlotte Olympia. This has been a threshold year for Dellal, one that saw her launch a range of bridal footwear, collaborate with Victoria Beckham, and open her first stateside store on New York’s Upper East Side. More generally, 2012 was the year that Charlotte Olympia firmly and finally established itself as a go-to brand for VIPs looking to rock a glam shoe on the red carpet. (Or anywhere else, for that matter.) Here, the cool and impeccably coiffed Dellal talks to Style.com about gilded platforms, her brand’s evolution, and the importance of having a sense of humor.
Congratulations! I guess this is as good a time as any to ask you that burning fashion question: What is the deal with women and shoes?
You mean, why do women love shoes? I always have a hard time with that one. They just do. I think, maybe, it has something to do with the fact that they’re objects—beautiful objects that you can wear. They look good on, and they look good off.
Did you always know you wanted to design shoes?
Actually, I wanted to do fashion design. Or so I thought. But when I did my foundation course, my tutor suggested I go into Cordwainers and train to make shoes. All my sketches of clothes were heavily accessorized. So I was accessory-focused from the beginning, I guess. And I do love accessories. I love how they personalize a look—you can be wearing the most sober outfit, and add an amazing shoe, a crazy bag, a hat, whatever, and make it something else entirely. It’s that old Hollywood, 1940s thing that I love so much; a way of not just finishing a look, but really elaborating it with your own sense of style.
You have a very distinctive, ’40s Hollywood-inflected personal style, and that’s reflected in Charlotte Olympia. When you design, are you designing for yourself?
Yes and no. I mean, as a designer, you create things that you love, don’t you? And as a female designer, it’s pretty inevitable that you create things that you love and want to wear. They go hand in hand. For me, anyway. So, of course, my sensibility is in the brand; it wouldn’t work otherwise. But my experiences as a woman also inform my sense of what’s missing in the market. Launching bridal—that came pretty directly out of my own experience of being a bride. I was looking around at the shoe options, and it was all, various shades of white and off-white. Like, peep-toe heels and things. And of course, I love color, I love pattern, and I just felt like, well, on your wedding of all days, you should be wearing a pair of shoes you really love, that represent who you are. I had on a huge dress, no one was going to see my shoes, but it made me happy knowing that I had on a pair of leopard-print pumps. And then, in the meantime, I did have women coming to the shop, and buying, like, red shoes to wear at their weddings. So I saw this niche.
How do you see your line as having evolved since you launched five years ago?
Well, this is obvious, but it’s gotten a lot bigger. My first few collections, I was only doing 140mm heels, with the recessed platform. That was about establishing an aesthetic, by the way; it wasn’t that I thought all women should wear super-high heels all the time. But I wanted to establish a silhouette, and a certain…I guess the only way to say it is a certain glamour. You know, as an aside, my true signature, initially, was the recessed gold platform. Some people saw that as really bling-y, but my thinking was, you know, it’s a recessed platform; when you wear the shoe, it’s under your foot, and so all that is is a little golden glow underfoot. A little magic, because—why not? Anyway. Sorry to digress, I just always felt like that gold platform was misunderstood. And of course now I design all sort of shoes—flats, sandals, the whole lot. Plus bags, now, too.
Are there other categories you’d like to explore?
There are lots of things I’d love to do, eventually. Like hats—I’m a big fan of hats, and I’ve been working with Piers Atkinson on some styles. I don’t need to do hats in-house; not right now. There are a lot of milliners I respect. Down the line, who knows? But anything that develops, it will develop organically. I like to joke that my accessories have accessories. Like, the bags started because I wanted a Perspex clutch to match the Perspex heels in a collection. And here we are, doing all these bags. And I love it. The novelty bags we make each season, they’re like the exclamation point at the end of the collection.
Do you have any shoe heroes?
Salvatore Ferragamo. The old Salvatore Ferragamo—the man. He used all this wonderful color and amazing materials. And of course, he was from the era that I love and made special shoes for the Hollywood actresses that have inspired me. And then, of course, when I was a child, my mother’s closet was full of Manolos. And when you’re a child, you’re always in your mother’s closet, trying on her shoes. Again, so many wonderful colors. And such a distinctive femininity—I still really appreciate that.
People tend to talk about your shoes being glamorous. It’s a word you use quite a bit yourself. But I feel like they rarely point out that your shoes are also kind of…funny. You know they’re funny, right?
Of course! I like to bring a sense of humor to my designs. A little silliness.What I really love to do is to play with the obvious—my collections are usually inspired by places, and I love doing things like, when we did the Paris collection, playing on all these Parisian super-clichés, like frou-fy poodles and the Eiffel Tower. I like to make the obvious more obvious. But it’s like I was saying, about the gold platform—why not? It’s so much easier to be bold or silly or over-the-top with your shoes than with pretty much any other part of your wardrobe. I can easily understand women who are shy about wearing some kind of crazy dress. But having fun with shoes? That never hurt anyone.
Black and white emerged as the color story for Spring, but when it comes to Fall essentials, it’s still about fifty shades of gray—gunmetal, especially. From Stella McCartney’s intarsia wool sweater dress to Acne’s animal-print booties, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite pieces in the hue below.
1. Stella McCartney dress, $1,035, available at www.netaporter.com
2. Salvatore Ferragamo bag, $562, available at www.mytheresa.com
3. Acne boots, $564, available at www.mytheresa.com
4. Alexander Wang sweater, $478, available at www.farfetch.com
5. Victoria Beckham denim, $220, available at www.netaporter.com
To view more looks, click here.
Massimiliano Giornetti created a Fall ’12 collection for Salvatore Ferragamo so Russian in its references, you wouldn’t have been surprised to find out that the peasant dresses or astrakhan-tipped coats came with their own bottles of vodka. (Cheers to that idea, or as the Russians say: Nazdarovye!) So it’s only fitting that for Fashion’s Night Out, the Ferragamo store on Fifth Avenue is celebrating Russophile-style, with a party hosted by Moscow style queens Elena Perminova, Anya Ziourova, and Miroslava Duma (pictured). (Russian pop band Tesla Boy will be making its first ever stateside appearance as well.) Street-style star Duma admits that it’s only for love of Ferragamo and Mother Russia that she’s making it to New York fashion week this season; taking care of her young son and implementing world domination plans for her Web site, Buro 24/7, don’t leave her much spare time for shows, or dressing for them. But Ferragamo’s invitation was too good to pass up. “People are really fascinated by Russia right now,” Duma notes. “Which makes sense, because we were hidden for so long. And for me, it’s a great thing, to be given the opportunity to show New Yorkers some Russian culture. And,” she adds, “to show them, maybe, it’s different than they think.” Here, Duma talks to Style.com about the Muscovite moment, borrowing and buying, and what she really thinks about Pussy Riot.
You’re one of a cohort of Russian street-style stars. Why do you think Russians are the It girls on the blogs right now?
Eh, we’re the new thing. You know how fashion is—there’s always got to be a new look, a new idea, a new story. For a moment, street-style blogs were the new thing; now they have to look for a new thing. So today it’s Russians.
Do you think there’s a distinctively Russian sense of style?
I think Russia is still figuring out its style. Look at the history—we had cultural stagnation for like, 75 years. And in the Soviet Union, it really was, you had to wait outside in the cold to buy toilet paper. That scene in Moscow on the Hudson, that was a real thing. So in the 1990s, when we discovered oil, and this sheik era of Russia began, of course everyone wanted to buy the most expensive things. And they wanted to show off. I was a kid when this was going on, but I remember a rich woman saying to me, Listen, if you want to buy Versace, you make sure you buy something with a big logo, because otherwise, it’s a waste of money. Even later, at the beginning of the 2000s, I can remember going to into bars in Moscow and seeing at least five girls wearing the same Dolce & Gabbana logo jeans.
Now, Russians are more educated about fashion, and people with money, they want something unique. Unique and discreet. A couture suit, maybe. If it’s one of a kind, they’ll spend for that. And also now, there are different ways to be stylish. I mean, there’s always a woman in Russia who, you know, she’s got a rich husband who doesn’t know about fashion but who buys all her clothes, and he wants her to look sexy. And there are these girls, and some of them look really great, I must say, who are the daughters of very rich men, and they buy whole looks from Céline or Proenza. They want to look super-cool. And there are also the fashion professionals, who travel for work, and who know the little vintage places in Paris or London, and they mix and match a lot of things.
Do you like getting photographed for street-style blogs? I feel like it would stress me out. I mean, how much time do you spend putting together your fashion week outfits?
Donna Karan said if it takes you more than 20 minutes to get dressed, then you’ve got a problem. I live by that. I won’t spend a lot of time planning my outfits, even at fashion week. But I don’t have to—I mean, my talent in life is, I have a good imagination to put together an outfit. I’m not the most beautiful girl, I don’t write poems, I don’t make music, I’m not the best tennis player, but I can create a look, you know?
Has the attention changed the way you dress?
Yeah…Sometimes I’ll do a crazy outfit I know fashion people will appreciate, but then I look at myself and think, wow, if my husband saw me now, he’d say, are you OK? In my normal life, I mostly wear, like, jeans. Simple things.
Do you own everything you wear that gets shot for the blogs?
I probably shouldn’t say this, but a lot of my clothes are borrowed. I’m sure people look at me and think, Pfff, this girl, she’s just a silly girl with a credit card with no limit. But that’s not true! Maybe no designer will loan to me now…I mean, isn’t the whole point that girls think I bought the dress from so-and-so, so they go out and buy that dress?
So I went to look at your Web site, Buro 24/7, but it’s in Russian. Looks good, but what is it?
Buro is a news site that provides quality information on fashion, art, architecture, culture, books, social life. Basically it’s a source that keeps you posted on everything interesting that happens in the world—the kind of stuff you can talk about with people you don’t really know, after you’ve talked about the weather.
Any plans to expand outside of Russia?
We already have! We recently launched, by license, a European edition based in Croatia, and we’re planning to open a London office very soon and start an English edition. Plus there’s a Middle East version I already have partners for, and we hope to do an Asian version of Buro, and so on.
I mean this kindly: You really don’t look like the mastermind of an international media empire. Like, you’re very cute.
Speaking of cute Russian girls out to change the world…
Are you going to ask me about Pussy Riot?
Well, they’ve really become a cause célèbre in the West. But I have a sneaking suspicion that opinions are different inside Russia. What’s your take?
My opinion is that these are very stupid girls. OK, so they have problems with the president—no president is perfect. But what did they change? Who did they help? How did they improve the situation in Russia? All they did was start an argument. And offend and humiliate people who believe in God. That’s it. I do a lot of charity work, there are many orphans in Russia who need help, so it’s not like all I see is rich people and fashion. I know there are things in this country that could be better. But this…Ugh. You know, people who say, oh, Pussy Riot is so great—I feel like, they don’t know what’s happening in Russia, they don’t know how Russians think, what they’ve experienced. I’d love to ask some of these people, who love Pussy Riot, if they can tell me anything else—any single thing—about the political situation in Russia today. I’d be very surprised if many people took the time to find out more about what’s happening.
So I guess you’ve got some opinions about this whole thing.
Everyone in Russia has an opinion. [Sighs.] Look, I love America. Everyone’s so kind and positive. They don’t know what it’s like in Russia—I mean, this is a silly example, but if you look at comments on street-style blogs, in Russia it’s all ugly. There’s a lot of envy. But in the States, you know, there’s some of that but there’s also people making compliments. You never get a compliment in Russia. So you have to understand with these girls, these stupid girls, that what they did was triple the negativity.
Anything you’re particularly looking forward to for Fashion’s Night Out? Are you a big Tesla Boy fan?
I just like that there’s this event to celebrate shopping. Sometimes I feel, men really are lucky—they’re strong, they don’t get pregnant, they can sleep with many women, and no one cares—but women, they have fashion. We have this pleasure, to go shopping and play with beautiful clothes, and no one ever takes it seriously but it’s important, you know? Russia, for more than 70 years, we didn’t get to shop. We didn’t have fashion. So maybe we appreciate this idea more than most people.
When editors left the Fall Salvatore Ferragamo show in Milan, they were all in agreement that they had seen plenty of wearable options on the runway. At last, we can follow-up on those wish lists we started making back in February and buy some of those military and baroque pieces we liked so much. Ferragamo has made the process even easier with its online trunk show (starring model and It girl Lily Kwong), which launched earlier this week, offering the brand’s Fall ready-to-wear range and the opportunity to buy actual accessories from the runway looks. One of our favorites is this drawstring bag with embroidered gold detailing ($1,490), available exclusively from the limited-time trunk show at Trunkshow.Ferragamo.com. If we order it now, we should have it just in time for fashion week.
Can you guess who wears the highest heels in Europe? According to a recent study, its the British women who take the cake, with an average heel height of 3.3 inches. Victoria Beckham (pictured) and Cheryl Cole come to mind, leading the pack against French women who come in at 2.4 inches and German women at 2.7. [Vogue U.K.]
Salvatore Ferragamo is following in the footsteps of the likes of Hermès, Armani, and Stella McCartney as the next designer label to outfit athletes for the 2012 Olympics. The Italian brand is designing uniforms for the Republic of San Marino, an independent microstate of Italy. The capsule collection fuses functionality and high-fashion and will be worn at leisure events and galas. [WWD]
Natalia Vodianova truly is beautiful inside and out. Just three days after devastating floods hit the Russian town of Krymsk earlier this month, the model flew to her native country to help out. She assisted with the hauling of bottled water and nappies in an attempt to aid the thousands of people who were left homeless after the natural disaster. [Telegraph]
The Galeries Lafayette is getting ready to host the third edition of its “World’s Biggest Fashion Show.” The department store plans to bring fashion to the streets with a mega catwalk event featuring 400 models on September 18 in Paris. The fashion fête will than move on to other cities in France September 22. [WWD]