Imagine strolling through Rome on your way to work, and passing plaster Peekaboo and Baguette bags — like the ones flanking Fendi’s spring runway — in lieu of classic statuary.
It could happen in the active mind of designer Kim Jones, who gets into his Fendi headspace by walking from his hotel, past the Colosseum and into the design studio, all the while imagining what Silvia Venturini Fendi and her daughter Delfina Delettrez might be wearing.
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They have always been important fonts of inspiration for Jones at Fendi, along with other stylish women in his inner circle, like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore and Linda Evangelista, all of whom sat on benches amongst the giant handbag sculptures as Milan Fashion Week kicked into high gear on Wednesday.
For his spring collection, Jones blended corset elements from the last Fendi couture collection, which he said sold very well, with things his favorite fashion plates might wear: neat car coats with a gentle flare, some masculine tailoring, pencil skirts, twin sets and body-skimming tube dresses.
Jones usually also tosses in something from Karl Lagerfeld’s epic tenure at Fendi. Here it was a slipdress in a vivid yellow lacquered linen, which fit in neatly with his colorblocking story juxtaposing dusty pastels with more vivid shades.
“I just wanted everything quite graphic,” he explained, pointing to the bright knit gloves which are touchscreen friendly for Instagram addicts.
The color combinations were often appealing and sophisticated, and it was clever how Jones blended a snakeskin pattern, animal spots and an allover Fendi logo to create a new species of print for a silk tank dress.
Feats of craftsmanship included mounting shearling strips on organza, creating the illusion of a ribbed bath towel for sleek pencil skirts and loose, shirt-like jackets.
While everything looked polished and ladylike, it did not add up to a very exciting fashion show, or a compelling evolution for Fendi ready-to-wear.
The display had a melancholy mood heightened by the leisurely pace of the models, and the music that often pours out of Jones’ earbuds during his morning commute.
“I chose a song I always listened to, which is Max Richter with Dinah Washington, because it’s just a song I really love and it’s something that gets me in the mood to go to work,” he said.
The title of that contemplative track is “This Bitter Earth/On the Nature of Daylight” and includes such lines as, “What good am I? Heaven only knows.”
Launch Gallery: Fendi RTW Spring 2024
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