I am very excited to see Baz Luhrmann's Australia. I was totally enamored with Moulin Rouge... more so than I ever expected to be. Much of that was due to the music but the fashion was, of course, amazing.
An Australia looks to be just as gorgeous.
What has really excited me was when I read that Salvatore Ferragamo was creating all of the shoes for the movie.
What is interesting, is that Ferragamo is not interpreting the styles of the era (as Manolo Blahnik did beautifully for Marie Antoinette) or using actual vintage shoes (pulled from the La Rose dead stock for Down With Love) but rather brought out styles from their actual archives to add a unique authenticity to the costume design:
"We are extremely proud and honored to work with the visionary filmmakers, director Baz Luhrmann and designer Catherine Martin. We were very confident that, through their passion and creativity, they would realize an unprecedented vision." states James Ferragamo. "My grandfather, Salvatore Ferragamo, began his career working in costume design for the American Film Company, a precursor to Twentieth Century Fox, so it is only fitting that we carry on his name and our company's heritage by collaborating once again on a film from Fox."
Ferragamo continues, "In fact, in The Covered Wagon (1923) one of the first films that my grandfather worked on, he created a pair of riding boots. These archival boots were referenced when creating the riding boots for Nicole Kidman's character."
In conjunction with costume designer Catherine Martin, the Ferragamo design studio referenced many shoes from the archives, including some worn by aristocrats during the '30s and '40s, characters similar to Lady Sarah Ashley. The color palette and design details, while created to help realize the filmmakers' fantastical vision, were also authentic to the designer and the period. The deep Ferragamo red that features in the evening sandal worn by Kidman's character during the pivotal Governor's Ball scene was already something of a House signature in the '40s. And the ribbed wedge detail featured in the shoe worn by Lady Sarah Ashley at her homestead on Faraway Downs derives from a style created originally for Katherine Hepburn.
All the shoes were made by hand, including this lovely evening sandal, in ruched deep red velvet with stingray accents. The sandal will be sold as a limited edition at Ferragamo stores worldwide. The shoes come in distinctive and collectible packaging and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity that tells the history and unique features of the shoes.
While I love Victorian and Georgian style of dress, I am completely in love with the Post-Edwardian styles they have used to portray Lady Ashley. The structured, tailored looks with amazing detail work have a very strong appeal for me. I think I would dress this way all the time if I could.
This is in large part due to the equestrian elements that much of these styles are derived from. I rode dressage and did jumping for years and love the look. I actually feel more comfortable in a buttoned-up look like this than I do in something like jeans and tee's.
This movie is going to be EVERYWHERE over the next few months, but if you are eager to begin your immersion, here is even more to get you started:
Interview & Images in July 2008 Vogue
Gallery of images from Australia
I'm very excited to see what shoes they do end up selling and how they are received. Will this movie kick-off a trend for extreme tailoring as Moulin Rouge re-ignited a love of corsetry and decadence?
And just for some added fun, if you love horses, Australia or amazing filmwork, I hope you have seen The Man From Snowy River. This is one of the most amazingly filmed location movies ever and this scene in particular always gets me choked up and fills me with awe: