a meeting of minds

Salvatore Ferragamo’s Paul Andrew on his Hitchcock-inspired film collab with Luca Guadagnino
Fashion | 5 February 2021
Text Finn Blythe

In spite of these surreal times and their lack of precedent, it’s impossible to ignore a sense of familiarity, that somehow we’ve seen it all before. Between the hazmat suits and despairing daily death tolls, deserted city centres and overcrowded hospitals, the images and emotions that have defined this pandemic are mirrored in the alternative reality of planet Hollywood. This realisation lit the touch paper for Salvatore Ferragamo creative director Paul Andrew, who, in collaboration with Luca Guadagnino, conceived a short film that pays tribute to the Hitchcockian mood that’s descended during lockdown.

Having premiered last September as the prologue to Ferragamo’s SS21 collection, the 18-minute film rings with Hitchcock’s visual signatures. There’s the overt 50s glamour, inspired by Hitchcock heroines like Grace Kelly and Tippi Hedren, coupled with the growing tension of heels click-clacking down deserted alleys and nervous backward glances. With the film now available for all, Andrew tells us more about working with Guadagnino, Ferragamo’s Hollywood connection and binging on Hitchcock.


On embracing Ferragamo’s roots in the new campaign… 
It is an homage to the city of Milan, Italian Cinema, and Ferragamo’s heritage in Hollywood – all as connected and expressed in our new collection, film and campaign. One of my roles at Ferragamo is embracing our past to bring it into the modern day. Ferragamo is a house famed for being founded in Hollywood, in fact our founder played a key role in the inception of Hollywood as we know it today by creating shoes for film studios and film stars.

We were thankfully able to hold a physical show in September 2020, during Milan Fashion Week, which is our modern day fashion show home. The film worked to enrich the runway show when it was first premiered, and act as a connected thread back to our Hollywood origins. It allowed for a shared experience for both those watching the show in person, and tuning in digitally.

“The film worked to enrich the runway show when it was first premiered, and act as a connected thread back to our Hollywood origins”

On collaborating with Luca Guadagnino…
I am a long-time fan of Luca’s work, particularly Io sono l’Amore (I Am Love) with Tilda Swinton, which is of course set in Milan. I had spent the most lockdown switching between watching old films and having long phone calls with friends. I was catching up with Luca following a Alfred Hitchcock film marathon and we both shared our love of Hitchcock’s films – Vertigo, The Birds and Marnie.

Luca has a very cinematic approach to his work, the way he frames a moment filled with emotion and intrigue in which every single detail on screen plays a role – the architecture or nature in the backdrop, the colours, the facial expression and physical stance of the characters and the wardrobe. He is very fashion focused – there are scenes in I Am Love that give a nod to Hitchcock’s era of cinema – from Tilda Swinton’s wardrobe, the colour palettes, her chignon… I learned a lot from working with Luca. I believe we made a great partnership given that we have a similar artistic language with enough difference to push each other in new directions.

“[Guadagnino] is very fashion focused – there are scenes in I Am Love that give a nod to Hitchcock’s era of cinema – from Tilda Swinton’s wardrobe, the colour palettes, her chignon”

On Hitchcock’s magic and the campaign’s references to his work…
I love Hitchcock’s use of colour in his later films, like Marnie – the way that Technicolor is used to draw attention to visual details while being both alluring and somewhat unnerving. The wardrobe also adds to that slight imbalance, the colour-blocked looks are both really quite conservative and also incredibly expressive with the contrasted accessories.

I love the idea of using colour to create an emotion, but in the case of this collection it goes that much further with almost conflicting feelings conveyed. For example, the yellow handbag in Marnie that we paid homage to in the collection, its presence throughout the film creates an unexplained significance. I think it reflects the mood of the start of 2021, uncertainty with injections of hopeful optimism.

Hitchcock was a master in storytelling and suspense and that was something that we wanted to make sure came through in both the film and the stills. The images capture a moment, leaving space for the observer’s own interpretation and speculation. Where is she going? What has she just seen? What is their relationship to one another?

Watch a short clip from the film below. 

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