In Milan, Ferragamo's Maximilian Davis woos the red carpet with hard-soft mix and fetish detailing

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Models wear creations as part of the Ferragamo women's Spring Summer 2024 collection presented in Milan, Italy, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Every look in Ferragamo creative director Maximilian Davis’ latest collection, shown Saturday on the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week, offered a little mystery to unravel, some detail to marvel.

At just 28, Davis is taking the fashion world by storm. His third collection marked an evolution, with a focus on fluidity while also adding sculptural details, playing with prints and incorporating hardware elements.

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Davis has taken Renaissance inspiration from Florence, Ferragamo’s home. This season, he playfully mixed in fetish details, which he claims as part of his DNA: leather chokers that flow into a pleated chiffon dress, thick ankle straps on stiletto heels and horsetail fringe that caresses the leg through deep slits in long dresses.

The collection mixed the hard and soft. Viscose dresses have organic shapes that cling to the body, quietly ruched for movement. Long kaftans are anchored by thick hardware incorporated as jewelry, with oversized prints of a Venus flytrap. Super-wide belts with wooden bead detailing provided a contrast to white dress with pretty pleated detailing.

Most spectacularly, Davis took patent leather bonded with jersey and created a sculpted breastplate on a flowing black dress, like a piece of Renaissance armor.

Davis’ Ferragamo has become a red-carpet and VIP darling, marking a breakthrough for the brand that has long struggled for visibility beyond its core, and beloved, footwear and leather goods business. He has dressed personalities from Beyonce to Kylie Jenner.

Backstage, British rapper and DJ Shygirl looked ready for the club in one of Davis’ ruched dresses in bright red.

“Me and Max have been longtime friends, and it is really inspiring to see someone who is absolutely deserving the spotlight,’’ she said. “Not only is he young, he is incredibly talented. It is so rare to be noticed and given the space so you can really thrive at that age. It is definitely inspiring.”

Davis is aware of the capital he has gained in a such a short time, and is clear how he wants to spend it.

“Now we are in a position to really have fun, really experiment and take it further,’’ he said backstage.

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