Every show season, be it ready-to-wear or couture, several hundred articles/Instagram posts/tweets emerge, heralding a certain fashion show as the biggest spectacle the fashion crowd has ever seen. That fashion show? It usually belongs to Chanel. But all the specially-built, branded supermarkets and brasseries in the world still don’t quite match up to Karl Lagerfeld’s latest extravaganza. No, not for Chanel. This time, we’re talking Fendi. You know, the other luxury fashion house that the designer heads up.
By no means are we suggesting that Fendi ever does things by half- this is, after all, the Italian label renowned for some of the world’s most luxurious furs- but for its 90th birthday, it really pulled out all the stops. With the couture shows winding down in Paris, Fendi decided that only Rome would do for its own catwalk and so flew all guests via chartered plane to the capital city of Italy.
Oh, and did we mention that Karl had also decided that only the historic Trevi Fountain would do as the runway’s backdrop? Having contributed €2.6 million to the restoration of the fountain, Fendi then constructed its own, transparent runway atop it, thus creating the illusion that the world’s most famous supermodels could, in fact, walk on water.
Kendall Jenner opened the show in an embroidered blue fur coat, while Bella Hadid showed off one of the exquisite gowns bearing an image inspired by a book of fairy tales from 1914, illustrated by Danish artist Kay Nielsen.
“It was in a way the mood of my childhood, the Northern fairy tales,” said Lagerfeld. “I called the show Legends and Fairy Tales because it’s a collection that doesn’t relate to everybody like ready-to-wear, this is very special for people who have a special kind of life.” He can say that again.
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For all its spectacle, one certainly couldn’t accuse Fendi of style over substance; the craftsmanship behind the clothes was almost otherworldly. Chiffon dresses, sheer panels, mink, leather, tulle and appliquéd lace were all transformed into the most enchanting creations, bearing images of princesses, fairy tale castles and delicate flowers.
If that was Fendi’s 90th celebrations, we can only imagine what might happen for the brand’s centenary. A special kind of life indeed.