Fendi takes on
In recent years, the demand for fur in fashion has decreased and protests of its use have increased. While many houses have promised to stop their use, Fendi has not followed suit. It may seem that dropping the “Haute Fourrure” title of their show in favour of the traditional “Haute Couture” would produce a stream of fur-free delights, however, the Lagerfeld-designed brand still had fur as a centrepiece.
The name change did indicate a transition in the show’s focus. This couture season, Fendi put a spotlight on their dresses. Crochet and lace were delicately designed into a spider-web like detailing to create gorgeous silhouettes.
Some pieces were crafted out of non-fur materials and assembled in creative ways to actually resemble fur, such as the multicoloured opening coat that was actually made of closely stitched together strips of frayed chiffon to master an illusion of intarsia’d dyed pelts of mink.
The colour scheme was light and airy in shades of nudes, ballerina pinks, and polar whites. Simply put, the show was a divine feminine fantasy. As much flack as furs gets, some of the standout pieces of the collection were feathered frocks. In particular, one tea-length dress made of marabou feathers and a caged-waist bearing the midriff encapsulated luxurious couture to a T. Another was a skirt made from – wait for it – 1,000 mink tiles. Fur isn’t necessarily in anymore because of the wave of animal rights activism, but if you are committed to donning lavish pelts for warmth and a symbol of status, then this is the way you should be wearing it.
Faux, fur, or neither, the atypical mixture of gowns, thoughtfully crafted imitations, and signature fur was an impressive step towards a modern Fendi era – one that intertwines history, creativity, and R&D to please current clients, the media, and prospective couture-wearers alike. The astonishing creations maintained Fendi’s core DNA into chic, timeless clothes that ooze a sense of exclusive luxury that only this atelier can carry.
The story isn’t necessarily the clothes, but it is the idea you can teach an old dog new tricks. And by old, we mean a brand long established and known for its signature furs. But thanks to the adaptiveness of Karl Lagerfeld, Silvia Venturini Fendi, and their team, the brand is broadening its repertoire by creating fabulous fake-outs that make faux even more glamorous than the real thing. A true nod of Fendi’s ability to compete in today’s market without losing any of their elegance.