Recently I was lucky enough to visit the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy. After exploring the exhibits, it is evident to any and all visitors that Salvatore was far more than just a designer, he was also a visionary. A name that now appears synonymous with Italian fashion, Salvatore Ferragamo broke through the confines of traditional shoemaking to invite innovation and creativity into the industry. Not only were his designs the product of his creative and unique mind, but also the result of the experimentation he employed when faced with an obstacle.
As one of the few Italian designers able to survive the harsh environment of both the fascist regime and World War II, it is now evident that Ferragamo not only was able to survive, but also flourish. In a time when many designers chose to back away from the hostile environment proliferating in the Italian fashion industry (understandably), Ferragamo was not willing to go down without a fight. He continued to design and attacked the obstacles of the time with innovation.
In order for Ferragamo to continue to create during wartime, he was forced to overcome the obstacle of rationing. With a lack of the usual textiles and materials, Ferragamo began to experiment with new materials, which were not commonly used in fashion. The results of his innovations were groundbreaking. Cork slabs, kidskin, and suede were intricately combined to fashion new and creative shoes worthy of the stars of Hollywood. To this day Ferragamo still makes shoes using materials and techniques utilized in a time when discovery was his only option for survival.
Innovative Materials Today
Today, not only does Ferragamo continue to design with new materials and textiles, but also paves the way for new designers to follow in his footsteps. Current trends thrive off innovation. Designers are competing to develop the freshest and newest idea, before their competitors. And the fashionistas? We flock to it. Many modern day trends catch hold because of the materials used.
Texture has proven to be immensely popular in the past year; it appears that anything and everything is now available in a suede, velvet, silk, vinyl, or corduroy options. Embellishments of fur, lace, feathers, studs, and chains add further texture. Youth, nationally and globally, intrigued by the idea of pushing the boundaries, gravitate towards the most unique items on the market.
As the seasons switch, fashion fads will develop and evolve alongside the changing weather. Warm weather invites more skin to be bared, and suddenly design options appear endless. You can expect to see anything from transparent booties to sheer dresses and tops being donned by the fashionistas of today. If there is a boundary to be pushed, you can be sure that it will be tested by the creativity and innovation employed by the fashion industry today. If the past is any indicator, Ferragamo will still be one of the designers at the forefront of change.
How are you going to push the boundaries with your summer wardrobe?
Sources: photos Olivia Stalker |Polyvore | Nordstrom | Nitrolicious | Ferragamo
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