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Forte Bravo


Did you know Ermanno Scervino convinced Kanye West to wed Kim K. at Florence’s Forte Belvedere? “It’s the most beautiful place in Florence,” said the designer, whose own fete at the medieval fortress drew West back to the Italian city yesterday evening. “When I was a kid I used to come here, and the fact that I managed to do something at Forte Belvedere is like a dream come true.” Indeed, his party was something out of a New Age fairy tale, but more on that later.

The festivities began with Equilibrium, an enlightening exhibition at the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, launched in honor of Firenze: Hometown of Fashion and the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana’s sixtieth anniversary. The show featured some of Mr. Ferragamo’s archived (and very ahead of their time) shoes from the thirties, forties, fifties, and sixties, but it also explored the designer’s expansive anatomical studies of the foot. “Equilibrium is the most important part of the Ferragamo story, but it’s not easy to tell because it’s so technical,” offered the museum’s director, Stefania Ricci. To help guests such as Pitti Immagine CEO Raffaello Napoleone grasp the idea, Ricci lined the walls with Ferragamo’s detailed drawings. Also included was a giant metal shank, an exaggerated version of the one Ferragamo used to create arch support. This, Ferragamo wrote in his autobiography, guides “the equilibrium of the body as it walks, instead of fighting against it.” In addition to the shoes, Ricci brought in artworks—such as ancient Roman sculptures, a Brancusi, a Rodin, and two films by Bruce Nauman—that highlighted the feet and the beauty of balance. “I hope that after this exhibition, people will think about walking in another way,” said Ricci.

At 8:30 it was time to cross the Arno River and head to Scervino’s extravaganza. A lot of equilibrium was required to navigate the seemingly endless flights of stone stairs, but once guests reached the top, the trek seemed worth it. The likes of Francesco Vezzoli and Franca Sozzani sipped champagne while enjoying breathtaking views of Florence and Il Duomo. And Scervino took advantage of the scenery, using it as the backdrop for a presentation of his capsule collection, dubbed The White Renaissance. The silver, gray, and white menswear range was an ode to Salle Bianca, the birthplace of Italian fashion. There were a few womenswear looks, too. A pair of models donned gowns in dusty rose and icy blue, and the hues blended with a sky painted by the setting sun. It was like the calm before the storm, the storm being the arrival of West, who befriended Scervino after visiting his boutique in Paris. According to designer Virgil Abloh, who accompanied the rapper, the pair had just flown in from Cannes.

Following a prolonged, frenzied photo op, attendees headed down (more) stairs to dinner and enjoyed a three-course meal while listening to a live string quartet. And as if the insane views, historic location, fashion show, and Kanye cameo weren’t enough, Boy George hit the decks after dessert, playing to a riotous, albeit very well dressed, crowd. Even Suzy Menkes broke it down on the dance floor. “Firenze: Hometown of Fashion is a celebration of the last sixty years,” mused Scervino. “Hopefully this is the start of the next sixty.”

—Katharine K. Zarrella

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