Kim Jones is really warming up to Fendi, unleashing a more hot-blooded collection for fall that was nipped at the waist, leggy and revealing — in the most polished way possible.
Bella Hadid opened the display, striding under a canopy of faux concrete arches in a wispy chiffon slipdress edged with small ruffles, a short pink mohair chubby drifting off one shoulder, setting the seductive, sultry mood. The palate — mingling mint, red and tawny shades — also felt immediately more daring than Jones’ first efforts for the Roman house, which were dominated by white and camel.
The British designer finally had fuller access to the archives and two collections by Karl Lagerfeld — a Memphis-inspired one from 1986, and a chiffon-centric one from 2000 — were the jumping off points. He noted that Delfina Delettrez had come to the office in a Memphis-print blouse she had nicked from the closet of her mother, Silvia Venturini Fendi, making the collection another multigeneration, family affair.
Ever the scholar, Jones had the original sketches and runway looks laid out on a table backstage, and tacked next to his interpretations, all younger and sleeker than the originals.
“We took some of the lines from the sketches, but then we completely redesigned it so it’s much more streamlined,” he explained in his mile-a-minute manner.
The tailoring was terrific, with seaming or cutaway fronts accentuating the waist, and the jacket lapel buttoned up to the throat, adding an air of mystery. Many came in graphic tweeds — as did tall boots, pencil skirts and Peekaboo bags, offering a new way to dress in monochrome style. Corset tops with a half apron looked great over matching shirts.
Jones also captured some of the lightness that was perhaps Lagerfeld’s most enduring fashion legacy: not only with all those wispy chiffons, but in the clean lines that gave everything a breeziness, even the denim and leather pieces.
The collection was not particularly wintry, and fur appeared most frequently in the handbags, including a Baguette bag in intarsia mink to mark the style’s 25th anniversary.
Backstage, Jones said he was proud of the Brutalist set he had designed, and the hard techno soundtrack he chose as a foil to all that ethereal chiffon.
“So you have the hard and the soft, which is very much what women are: They’re tough internally and then soft and beautiful on the outside,” he mused.