This haute couture season, it seemed that the collections’ backdrops were as important as the clothes. Immense theatralization of the fashion show was a recurring theme, from Schiaparelli to Margiela. So it was quite refreshing to see the total white-cube space as Fendi’s venue. But did Kim Jones‘ couture line-up stand up for itself? “Luxury is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress.” Karl Lagerfeld coined this permanently true aphorism – one of the sparkling fashion quotes he dashed off in a zillion interviews. Kim Jones didn’t drop it into backstage conversation about his Fendi haute couture collection, but he might’ve, since essentially what he sent out met the Lagerfeldian standard of t-shirt-y elegance; a show of uncomplicated, minimal dressing realized in the most expensive of materials. For starter, a trio of Max-Mara-like looks, two tailored trouser suits and a long turtleneck sweater dress with a slashed skirt and sash in a Vicuna brown. Then came tailoring, and a molded bustier in paler shades of slightly pink-tinged beige: Fendi’s specialty calf leather. And then, calmly on with the abbreviated lines of the t-shirt dressing. There were slim tank dresses, made of rolled metallic bugle-beads, asymmetrical long-sleeved patchworks of Japanese silk kimono fabric commissioned by Jones from traditional makers in Kyoto, and beaded deco-style pajamas. Jones explained in a preview that the pair of outstandingly lovely shimmery silver sequinned bias cut slip dresses had been made from swatches Karl Lagerfeld had commissioned which had been archived and never used. For the finale there were a few spicier, sheer “nude” dresses. In overall, it all looked like a proper couture collection. Not sure it felt like a Fendi one, though, even with all the subtle Lagerfeld references.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.