Left from Central Martins, guilty of the success of Supreme’s viral collaboration with Louis Vuitton, artistic director of Dior Homme, and now faces a new challenge. Designing a women’s collection for the first time. Haute couture requires passion and dedication, which is why we had such high expectations for this first Fendi Couture show at Paris Fashion Week.
After the departure of Silvia Venturini (current artistic designer of the Fendi men’s and accessories collection), the Roman house fell into the hands of the British designer, Kim Jones. Without ever having designed for women before, he immersed himself in this new adventure and things have not gone bad. For this new challenge, Jones confesses, that literature has been a great inspiration, especially Virginia Woolf. And it is that during his childhood, he grew up near the house of this writer. In designing this haute couture collection for Fendi, Jones is engulfed in a wave of longing and childhood memories of him.
Specifically, it is inspired by the biographical work Orlando, which recounts the life of an aristocratic man from the court of Elizabeth I of England who, after a deep sleep, wakes up one day incarnated as a woman. Woolf uses her own experience to delve into issues that at the time caused a real scandal, and she uses this biography to introduce Vita Sackville-West, who was her lover and confidante. A love story that captivates the designer and leads him to unite literature and haute couture, with a parade in which men and women appear and we see dresses with long tails and men’s suits.
Top Models, including Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell, wore the designs to the sound of light music in which Virginia Woolf’s letters to Vita Sackville-West were recited. A love story to tell, in which the protagonist is the strong bond that exists between women, and that is how Jones represents it in the parade.
This strong bond that we speak of is reflected in the appearance of Kate Moss, who for the first time walks with her daughter Lila Moss. Also with the appearance on the catwalk of Leonetta Fendi and Delfina Delettrez Fendi (who is also the creative designer of the jewelry collection), the fourth generation of Fendi women. These are not the only family relationships that we see, and it is that we could see the Aboah sisters, Adwoa and Kesewa and even the top Christy Turlington shared the catwalk with hers, her nephew James Turlington.
Trouser suits and jacket from whose shoulders are born infinite layers and coats inspired by the curtains of Woolf’s house with a somewhat special jacquard. Tulle layered dresses like the one Bella Hadid wore on the runway, a romantic and feminine speech that Kim Jones has brought to life.
Stylist Sam McKnight wanted to create a wet effect on the hairstyles to give the feeling that the rain had caught the models in the garden like that, causing their romantic bows to start to unravel. They took as a reference the hairstyle of several photographs of the Bloomsbury Circle, which was the group of intellectuals with whom the writer Virginia Woolf met around 1907. McKnight says that styling “is a matter of the moment, it has more to do with a state of mind than with a studied style “.
Make-up artist Peter Philips gave luminous touches to the skin, and it is that everything revolved around the idea of reflections. “It had to scratch the wet, but not really wet. I wanted the makeup to embody strength and fragility at the same time.”
The new Fendi appears on the catwalk with subtle brushstrokes of Karl Lagerfeld’s previous work for the Italian house, the Kalligraphy monograms from the genie’s latest collection, with embroidered beads on boots. An indisputable work that recalls the late fashion kaiser.
‘‘ I want to respect Silvia and think about the legacy of the house. Fendi is about them: strong, intelligent women who know what they are doing with their lives. Pioneering women, like the ones in Bloomsbury, like the ones in the parade. It’s a declaration of intent: on the one hand, to celebrate what Fendi is; on the other, the stories of these incredible women ”- confesses the designer in an interview for Vogue
Silvia Venturi assured Vogue “I like to work as a duo and working with him reminds me a lot of how things worked with Karl.”
The designer gives special importance to the family relationship of the Italian brand that after four generations continues to break the catwalks and be on the lips of all of us. Jones does not miss a single detail and it is that moments before the parade, he distributed to all his guests a bottle with the logo of the firm and the date of the parade engraved in silver.
A glass labyrinth made up of a multitude of showcases in the Brongniart Palace in Paris, which recreate the Fendi house logo along the entire catwalk. A setting where creative passion flies, mixing modernism with the romantic subtlety of the garments in the collection. A battalion of models accompanied by faces as well known on the big screen as that of actress Demi Moore, who was in charge of opening the parade, or Penelope Cruz, who was among the invited audience.
The invitation to the event was also the most spectacular, as if it were one of the love letters sent between Virginia and Vita, with key phrases and questions questioning love and passion. In the invitation there was a fragment of one of the love letters.
.Hours after the show, Bella Hadid posted her conversation with Cara Delevigne via Instagram Stories. One enjoyed the after show satiating her pizza craving and another did it by eating caviar. These two close friends seem to have a great time.
The Fendi house published moments before the show a quote from Virginia Woolf in Orlando that says “Clothes have, they say, more important offices than just keeping us warm. They change our worldview and the worldview of us.” And there is no doubt that Kim Jones wanted to add meaning to every detail of the show, so after her debut we ask ourselves the most important question. Has Fendi Couture managed to exceed expectations?