Fendi’s diamond-cut slimline silhouette
A strictly cut yet relaxed silhouette of slim, light shoulders and a reminder that even well into his 80s Karl Lagerfeld still has plenty of novel designer ideas hidden up his sleeves.
A diamond patterned program, with silver parallelogram panels bearing a F in a circle logo, the same image on the walls of this packed out show inside Fendi’s show space on via Solari. With the current and future CEOs of Fendi, Pietro Beccari and Serge Brunschwig respectively, looking on admiringly from the front row.
Impeccably cut Prince of Wales check trenches, pencil skirts and puffer jackets opened the action; followed by logo glazed canvas mackintoshes and leanly cut knit dresses finished just below the knee. Everything done with a slim, yet precise shoulder; frequently finished with transparent horizontal cuts; the jackets with grand collars.
“My starting point was the impeccable shoulder with a new kind of volume. Dissected with a cross belt, and worn with a shoulder bag. The new lapel is in the shape of a butterflies, and the profile cut out like this,” said the now-permanently-bearded Lagerfeld as he drew his right hand across the upper chest.
“And they look nothing like the Eighties power shoulders,” the German couturier insisted.
Plissé sides to give volume and movement, and prevent anything looking too heavy. Oodles of swish mink coats, with the Double F logos or cut with diamond patterns; and mink sweaters reading Fendi Roma. Architectural yet somehow very easy.
A notable new Double F mini tote bag and some dandy double Cuban heel cowboys that looked like commercial winners.
Though Fendi is based in Rome, Lagerfeld sketched the designs at home in Paris. He largely goes to Fendi’s headquarters in Rome for the fittings, and no longer has an apartment in Rome. Frequently using video conferencing with his team in the Eternal City, while he is in Paris.
“I don’t know how I got the inspiration. Suddenly these things appear on paper and I don’t know where they are coming from. I work a lot when I am sleeping and I have a pad and paper next to my pillow when I wake up to draw. Because if not I would not remember the next morning!” laughed Lagerfeld, before he embraced the new CEO of Fendi Serge Brunschwig in his backstage private lair.
“Pas mal; No?” chuckled Brunschwig ironically, beaming ebullient about his new position. He will finish his final days at his current job, managing director of Dior Homme, by the end of February.
In between a multilingual conversation in German, English, French and Italian, the conversation turned to politics, from Angela Merkel in his homeland to Berlusconi in Italy, where there will be national elections on March 4.
“Berlusconi? His face looks like it was made in Madame Tussaud's. It is not to be believed! Ugh!” sniffed Lagerfeld.
While in a swirl of camera crews backstage, Silvia Fendi paused for a moment to comment: “I think this collection was a nice way to welcome Serge into the house.”
And, as guests sipped sparkling wine amid a maelstrom of fans, stood Brunschwig’s predecessor Pietro Beccari, who built Fendi into a billion-euro plus brand. He departs to become CEO of Christian Dior Couture, a sister company in the LVMH luxury conglomerate, and stopped to reflect: “I feel very proud to leave a great fashion house in very good shape, after a tremendous show by Karl and Silvia.”
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