The dialogue between poetry and reality continues in FENDI Couture this season. Eschewing costume and embracing pragmatism, it is an amalgam realised seamlessly by the supreme skills of the craftspeople of the FENDI ateliers: from embroiderers to tailors, pattern cutters to leather workers, dressmakers to furriers. The FENDI approach to the person wearing couture is to reaffirm their humanity; they are always ‘someone’ rather than ‘something.’
From simplicity in geometry to primal pull of croco, a ‘human futurism’ travels through the collection, conflating constants of the past to make the present and the future. Here structure becomes decoration and decoration, structure.
Beginning with a new, ‘Scatola’ silhouette – meaning ‘box’ – and ending on the same, precision geometric pattern cutting in the flou creates new volumes with lightness and structure in fabrics like silk gazar. While the tailleur follows the form of the female body through rigorous cut, ergonomically embracing the wearer in traditionally masculine tailoring fabrics such as super kid mohair. Realised in the finest cashmere and vicuna yarns, elevated rib knit dresses elegantly swaddle with knotted ‘Shibari’ harnesses integral to the silhouette. Supple croco travels through the entire collection, encompassing clothing and accessories while exerting an instinctive draw. Each approach optimises lightness, sinuousness and movement, gleaned from the discipline of dance.
Yet it is perhaps in the plethora of intensely worked embroideries that decoration and structure truly become entwined within the collection and appear almost as a future skin. At their most startling, a splicing and dicing of the DNA of the natural and the manmade world takes place in the embroideries. For example, a new form of feather-like, all-over fringe appears as a new kind of pelt. Organically shaped, ultra-light and fluidly contoured by rigorous yet delicate hand embroidery, it sinuously moves with the wearer.
After last season’s extension of the idea of the ‘couture ensemble’ to fine jewellery, in this collection, the idea of fine jewellery enters the realm of precious practical objects. In ‘Singular Vision’ fine eyewear, designed by Delfina Delettrez Fendi, FENDI Artistic Director of Jewellery, measurements are garnered through facial scans with eyewear structures tailored to the individual and realised in 18k white gold and white diamonds. These can be sunglasses, spectacles or simply used for enhancement and adornment.
This notion of precious practicality is also extended to the handbags in the collection – a series of bespoke Baguette bags. Echoing the clothing materials – from mink-lined supple crocodile to fringed and fluid embroideries – FENDI Artistic Director of Accessories and Menswear, Silvia Venturini Fendi, approaches the Baguette bags as sumptuous, personal objects that go from Nano to Large.
There is also the introduction of the FENDI Gems Baguette bags on catwalk, with intense craftsmanship and precious materials. The show features a Mini Baguette bag with hardware accomplished in 18k white gold and white diamond-pave-encrusted buckle and platinum leaf applied to croco.