Traversing the strata of Roman temporality, from its ancient past to its imagined future, for Spring 2022 Kim Jones presents a Fendi Couture collection that draws upon fantasy and reality to land in an otherworldly present.
Here, the historic codes of the city, its statuesque marbles and ecclesiastical aesthetics, are explored within a futuristic framework. “When you walk down the street in Rome, you are constantly moving back and forth in time,” explains Kim Jones. “Where we work feels very modern, but you pass monuments on the way there. There’s a total timelessness to the city: a historic vein which runs through it, but also a movement that is projecting forwards.”
Now, descending from the heavens, an army of empresses whose divine purity is imbued with celestial power. Lavish craftsmanship is applied to their sci-fi silhouettes; elsewhere, ceremonial asceticism overlaid with astral fantasy. Fluid fabrics are draped atop shimmering bodies; baguette beads luminous with light; hand-embroidered tights appearing as a second skin. These are unearthly figures charged with transcendent energy. “Rome has a certain spirituality as a city,” notes Jones. “Not necessarily just something religious, but something present in the layers of its history.”
Drawing upon time-honored techniques alongside modern craftsmanship, the collection materially reflects that sentiment, finding harmonies between past and present. The ghostly shadows of opulent fabrics, photographed and distorted, are printed atop duchesse silk and organza and illuminated with traditional beading and mother of pearl, while the classical statues located outside of FENDI’s Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana are hand-painted in dramatic chiaroscuro onto sheared mink and velvet. Heat-molded leathers, embroidered with micro sequins, mink and pearls, echo Corinthian reliefs; exposed underpinnings reveal the very essence of couture: its construction. The archeological remnants of ancient civilizations are unearthed: volcanic stone and hematite inset into bags; natural crystal geodes and amethyst shooting from jewellery.
The visual language of power is embedded throughout, from warrior like armour, now crafted in Persian lamb and leather, to the imperial majesty of floor-sweeping trains. After all, says Jones, “that’s what my vision for FENDI is all about: celebrating the power of women.”