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The branches of scented jasmine wound around the columns of the Louvre’s peristyle were a sign that something unusual was happening last Tuesday night: and indeed it was so. Ferragamo, key sponsors of the groundbreaking “La Sainte Anne, Leonardo da Vinci’s Ultimate Masterpiece” exhibition at the Louvre had, in a quid pro quo landmark statement, been given permission to hold the first ever fashion show within the architectural confines of the museum buildings themselves.

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We were all invited to a private viewing of the exhibition, which charts the evolution of Leonardo’s work on this painting and its theme. Of course, in Leonardo’s journey from Florence to Paris, Ferragamo were drawing a parallel. The house is Florentine in origin…

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After a pitstop atthe Costes, it was back to the Louvre for the show at 2030. Ferragamo had flown in editors from all their strategic markets, and seated them in two long front rows either side of the 120 metre runway, (400 ft), sheltered from the rain outside by the roof of the Denon Wing.

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It was rather chilly, as the peristyle is open to the elements on one side:

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But in true super luxe style, each seat had a superfine cashmere & silk shawl awaiting its editor, as well as a nylon ripstop bag containing a black fleece blanket for the truly perishing.

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This must be the longest runway I’ve ever seen, but it was incredibly effective, watching the sinuous train of girls working their way along it.

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The show was notable for its Barbarella meets cowgirl aesthetic, in a palette of pinks and pastels. And leather, a lot of leather, of course, speaking to the house’s heritage.

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After the show, we headed across the courtyeard and down inside the always impressive IM Pei pyramid

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for an indulgent Italian dinner at tables set with great clusters of wine dark roses and peonies. After supper, the English contingent, all eight or so of us, ended up back at the Costes in the dimly lit bar for a night cap, & then bed…

La Sainte Anne, Leonardo da Vinci’s Ultimate Masterpiece is on view at the Louvre until June 25. 

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