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Salvatore creates Nicole Kidman's shoe wardrobe for 'Australia'

Dec '08
Salvatore Ferragamo, renowned for its iconic shoes and rich history of Hollywood costume design, announces its collaboration with Oscar winning costume designer Catherine Martin to create Nicole Kidman's shoe wardrobe for the upcoming film, Australia.

Directed by Baz Lurhmann and scheduled for a November 2008 release, the creative collaboration between Ferragamo's designers and Ms. Martin has resulted in an exceptional collection of beautiful, original shoes. Drawing from period references and originals from the Salvatore Ferragamo archive, the design team created a wardrobe rich in historical content and detail, worthy of the House's tradition of Hollywood "Shoemaker to the Stars".

In the film, Ms. Kidman plays a 1940s aristocrat who embarks upon an epic journey. While trying to save her ranch, Faraway Downs, from a takeover plot, she joins forces with a rough-hewn stock- man (played by Hugh Jackman) to drive 2000 cattle across Australia, only to face the bombing of Darwin by the same Japanese forces who had months earlier attacked Pearl Harbour.

From a classic wedge worn at social gatherings at Faraway Downs to a riding boot worn for a cattle drive across the unforgiving landscape of the Outback, to an evening sandal featured at the Governor's Ball in Darwin, Ferragamo's designers, overseen by Women's Accessories Director James Ferragamo, created a range of exceptional one-of-a-kind shoes for Ms. Kidman's character, Lady Sarah Ashley.

"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 TheCoveredWagon (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.

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