IT’S easy to think of Tod’s as being only about driving shoes, leather accessories goods and, not surprisingly because of that, as having a more masculine feel. Alessandra Facchinetti – formerly of Gucci and Valentino – took the reins at in February of last year to develop a womenswear line, and now she’s got into her stride. The modern and sleek starting points of her first two collections were replaced today with something more graceful and, well, woman-friendly. Enlarged and entwined petal designs worked their way onto jackets and skirts and continued on to bags in a palette of lilac and burgundy. It created something mineral-esque to balance the sportier pieces, which are of course integral to the brand.
A Spring collection that’s more than half leather and nobody bats an eye? Two reasons: first, the increasing seasonlessness of the collections. Fashion is global, and when it’s spring in half the world, it’s fall in the other. We’ve seen fur on the Milan catwalks—lots of it—so why not leather? Second, we were at Tod’s, home of the famous pebble-sole driving moccasin and the world’s finest leather artisans. Much of the leather on creative director Alessandra Facchinetti’s runway was almost weightless. Those tiny laser-cut holes on the airy tank dress in look number one? Made with the very same technique used to create the sole of the driving shoes. In the case of a creamy biker jacket, the leather was more substantial, if not quite rugged with the color-blocked flowers at the shoulders.
Facchinetti was thinking about gardens. There was a lovely hand-stenciled floral print on a crisp pantsuit (the same silhouette looked great in sunflower yellow), and a palm-tree motif on the full cotton skirt worn with a snug white tee. That’s an outfit you can count on seeing out and about in 2015; it was pretty without being saccharine—a quality that sums up this collection. Extra credit for the jewelry: necklaces and cuffs that set small slabs of polished marble amid large crystals in sculptural swirls of gold wire. The designer reported that Tod’s will be selling it next spring.