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After four seasons competing on the highly challenging fashion circuit, Rocco Iannone is finding his stride under the bonnet of a tricky and perplexing brief: to translate Ferrari’s pre-eminence on the autostrada to some kind of status on the runway. By considering key car making criteria—aerodynamics, movement, and progress—yet being (on the whole) less literally in thrall to the petrolhead codes of the Prancing Horse, this season’s collection represented a tangible shift up a gear.

It took confidence not to race out of the grid, instead hitting the first few laps in muted dark tones of modernized tailoring and workwear with oversized seam detailing. Next Iannone gently accelerated into looks decorated with the fringed Ferrari lettering. Some strong washed denim followed—“I’d wear that jean all day long” said my benchmate declaratively—notable for its carefully oversize cut and leather detailing. Then it was back to the Ferrari-name decoration, this time in 15-color yarn intarsias sometimes blurred with the motion of more fringing. Then we entered a padding chicane that was there to reference the famous driver jumpsuits but which also—in the protective-looking vests—echoed kenjutsu-wear. The super rounded pants worn afterwards seemed to reference those famous images of David Bowie in Kansai Yamamoto.

Other enjoyable touches included how looks 30 and 31 presented color-flipped equivalent outfits on male and female models, or how looks seven and nine presented a pretty straightforward equivalent of each other’s biker fronted charcoal jumpsuits: neither one gender nor the other was in the driving seat of this collection. This was emphasized by the cross-gender portage of handbags and folios to which were attached aerodynamically shaped pods of hardware. The sneakers at the end delivered visually tangible bounces of suspension with every step. “It is very important to insert into the narrative Ferrari elements that are new and unexpected,” said Iannone. Given Ferrari’s huge global audience—probably far larger than almost any fashion house—choosing a more DTC presentation route might well bring speedier results in driving sales of this collection. Yet the marque seems determined to take fashion’s high road.