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Published
Sep 21, 2017
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Tropical futurism from booming Fendi

Published
Sep 21, 2017

It began as a colorful echo of Futurism, but finished up in the opulent tropics, a powerful show Thursday lunchtime by Fendi, where the house’s creative director Karl Lagerfeld has rarely been in better form.


Photo: Fendi - Facebook


In a courageous move, Lagerfeld dreamed up a whole new silhouette – centered on a detached neckline. Sometimes Lagerfeld dropped them below the collar bone, way down below the shoulders; other times with the neckline was used almost like a wide shawl. “Floating architecture,” said Lagerfeld in an audience backstage.
 
Underlining the focus on the silhouette – a beautiful show program contained a series of sketches by Karl, many of them covered with his instructions to his atelier on their proportions. Like: “Far away from the neck,” written about a dress with a crewneck; or another read: “the blouse effect,” on a drawing of a jacket cut with five-inch collars that fell so far it revealed the naked shoulder.

“I had been looking at the geometry of Giacomo Balla, but ended up quite distant from him,” quipped the German designer about that star of Futurism - the Italian art movement that loathed of old ideas and embraced mechanization, speed and technology.
 
Lagerfeld’s key fabrics were a series of bold stripes, checkerboards and plaids; his key colors came from south of the Equator – coral pink, sea green and sun-bleached blue. Kicked on by fresh poplin tops and skirts with high waists that flared to just below the knee, and climaxed by some suggestive sheer silk chiffon cocktails, this was highly impressive collection.
 
A gutsy collection, powered on a by brilliant soundtrack courtesy of French DJ and sound architect Michel Gaubert. It sounded like African tribal beats but turned out to be by Ninos Du Brasil, an Italian duo one of whose members is Nico Vascellari who dates Delfina Delettrez, daughter of the house’s designer Silvia Fendi.
 
Few brands today are growing as rapidly as Fendi, which will break through the 1.2 billion euro ceiling this year. The show unveiled a whole series of punchy new bags – from a tote in transparent tartan mesh named Runway, to a bucket shaped Mon Trésor bag in exotic leathers trimmed with metallic pearls. Indeed, every single model carried a bag.
 
The house is growing across the board in all categories – especially the ones it invented itself, like the luxury bauble. The Roman label has sold literally hundreds of thousands of furry monsters and fox Carlitos. This season the emphasis was on humor – like the mini leather banana, half opened to reveal the fruit made in a double F, Fendi logo.
 
Though the big news today was how an octogenarian designer like Karl Lagerfeld can still keep sculpting exciting new silhouettes. While many of today’s young stars are mere fabric decorators.

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