When I was working in India on the launch of a new magazine, Salvatore Ferragamo was one of the international brands that kept pinging up on my radar – their spring-summer shoes were breathtaking and Ferragamo is quite big in India. On my return I proceeded to forget about them, until today. While on my round of appointments calling in for a forthcoming shoot, I came across these purple patent hotties and once home I (naturally) tried them on. Heaven! They have a slightly curved cone heel and a demi platform, yet don’t come under the ‘statement shoe’ umbrella because somehow they retain all their elegance and wearability, maybe because the uppers and ankle straps make them quite delicate. Ferragamo’s Vara bow pumps are already in the thick of a revival, with the baby sister version Varina (the flat one) now a cult hit with New York Gossip Girl wannabes and Japanese O-nee-kei girls alike.
My interest piqued, I decided to have a pootle and see what Ebay has to offer. Sadly, the beauties I’d lusted after on a weekly basis while in India were nowhere to be seen (but you can see a few here), however there were lots of affordable Varas including these AAAA ones (Ferragamos are known for being ultra-comfortable, due to their varied width fittings and going up to a more generous-than-average UK size 9), plus some sweet lace-ups from the quaintly-named Grecia’s Graciously Used Shoes.
Of course, back in the day, Salvatore Ferragamo was as hot a name as Louboutin is now, after all he did invent the wedge…
And in the ’30s and ’40s when the war made it difficult to obtain leather for shoes, he stitched together corks from wine bottles to make cork wedges. An eco early-adopter – who knew! This year is the 80th anniversary of Ferragamo and it’s all change at the house. Cristina Ortiz has taken up the baton as head designer following Graeme Black’s departure so I’m keeping a close eye on proceedings. In the meantime, I’m also keeping a close eye on these lovelies. All in the name of research you understand.
Make Do and Mend
12 August, 2008 @ 8:04 pm
Ah yes Ferragamo – fabulous!
I love the new A/W shoes etc.
Also there is a Ferragamo outlet store at Biscester Village.
Also have written up Elle trends thing!
12 August, 2008 @ 8:04 pm
I want the Vara in purple so badly! The other day I read somewhere (Vogue-Paris I think), Ferragamo did the ruby slippers for Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz.
12 August, 2008 @ 8:09 pm
Make Do & Mend: I'm coming over to yours now!
Allure: Shut UP! Really? That would make total sense. But wait, it's not on Wikipedia or anywhere…? Let me Google it… Hmm, according to Google Judy Garland's shoes were designed by Hollywood costume designer Gilbert Adrian in 1938. They DO look very Vara-esque though. Anyone know more?
12 August, 2008 @ 8:21 pm
I love Ferragamo shoes – so comfy. The patent flats are great, I used to think of them as old lady shoes but now I just think those old ladies are really cool!
12 August, 2008 @ 8:23 pm
That purple is divine. I’ve always loved that striped wedge. I’d wear it!
12 August, 2008 @ 9:00 pm
I have so many pairs of Varas, it’s a bit of an obsession of mine…. don’t wear them as much now as I did when I was in uni when I lived in them (navy, grey, black and white were my faves…) but they do see daylight once in a while….
13 August, 2008 @ 2:26 am
Oh Ferragamo does shoes like no other. I can’t think of any brand that makes footwear as beautiful and comfortable.
13 August, 2008 @ 5:59 am
I do know that the Ruby Slippers were refurbished by a guy named Pasquale, who I take my handbags to in L.A.
I love feeling that I’m 2 (or is it 3?) degrees from the Ruby Slippers!
Make Do and Mend
13 August, 2008 @ 8:21 am
The costuem designer for wizard of Oz was Adrian Greenberg also referenced as Gilbert Adrian.
At least 6 or 7 pairs fo shoes were made for the Wizard of Oz and although Adrian was the costume designer – the shoe making would have been outsourced – but I don’t know to whom, MGM was the studio so whoever they used. It could have been anyone from a production crew cobbler to Ferragamo.
13 August, 2008 @ 2:36 pm
Sigh. Those purple patent peep-toes are glorious. Plus bonus points for alliteration.
13 August, 2008 @ 2:54 pm
Those pumps are amazing!!
13 August, 2008 @ 4:32 pm
I loved this post – I’m wearing my bronze Ferragamo bow flats right now!
13 August, 2008 @ 5:09 pm
Nice detective work on the Wizard of Oz front…Make Do & Mend, did you learn that on your course?
15 August, 2008 @ 11:44 am
There is definitely a Ferragamo moment going on – check out the new space at Dover Street Market called Ferragamo Creations showcasing a limited and numbered re-edition of several historic models from its archive of 13000 items!
The models are handmade using original techniques, and feature the brand’s classic label which was designed in 1927 by Futurist painter Lucio Venna.
And here’s a pic: http://www.doverstreetmarket.com/dsmpaper/08_autumn_winter/salvatore_ferragamo.html
9 December, 2008 @ 11:28 pm
Ferragamo did not create the ruby slippers for the Wizard of Oz movie. Gilbert Adrian designed the shoe. The actual shoe was constructed by the Innes shoe company. If you look at pictures or have seen the original shoes (of which there were originally many pairs) you can see the label inside of one of the shoes (the right, I believe). The shoes were then supposedly sent to the Western Costume Co. to be dyed red and get a burgundy organza overlay with sequins attatched, and orange felt on the bottom to keep the shoes from making too much noise on set.
Ferragamo did, however, create the wedge heel (in rainbow colors) for Garland in 1938.