mfw: fendi spring/summer 15
A mixture of playful irreverence and the cold rigidity of architecture inspired Fendi's spring/summer 15 collection.
Italian architecture is a bit of a theme this season. After a men's show season in Milan earlier this summer with classicist statues on jumpers and regular toga parties on runways, it was somehow in the cards. And on the morning of Thursday's Fendi show in Milan, Versace show invitations were delivered to everyone's hotels including a book on the restoration of the city's Versace shop to the building's old classicist glory. "Fashion and architecture were one of the favoured forms of expressing avant-garde culture in the early decades of the twentieth century," Karl Lagerfeld said in his elusive show notes, which included pictures he took of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome, a 1935 fascist architecture masterpiece, which now houses Fendi HQ. The building's characteristic arches were referenced in the set design's walls, but it was in the brutalist vibe of the collection that Mussolini's Italy really showed its stark face. Well, that and a denim take on fascist uniform breeches.
Stripped down to greys and blues, the collection had all the cold rigidity of the architecture it was referencing, while the systematic repetition of motifs in these buildings was echoed in the repeated use of a floral, cut-outs featuring structured boning, and tops finely sliced up as if Lagerfeld had folded a piece of paper and cut down the middle. The show notes of course only alluded to the delicate reference, with Lagerfeld arguing that "the past and history here are beyond 'good and evil'," and, "inspiration […] has to be filtered and transgressed". If it all sounds a bit strict and severe - what with the casual fascism and all - it wasn't, because how could Fendi ever be? Leather tail hair pieces and small bags worn over big bags made for some of the more irreverent elements, which would hardly have sat well with Mussolini, and when Laura Betti's Cocco Di Mamma serenaded the models down the runway for the finale, there was no doubt you'd taken part in the Fendi experience.
Text Anders Christian Madsen
Photography Harry Carr