Add Kim Jones to the list of designers who read “Dune” over the tense holiday period as Omicron rippled across the world, making any distant future seem like a sweet escape.
“I’ve been looking at all my sci-fi books. I was reading them all over Christmas,” he said during a preview. “I don’t know, I’ve always loved ‘Star Wars.’ I still have ‘Star Wars’ toys all over my study.”
Of course, he found links to Fendi — its hulking, otherworldly headquarters for one, which could have hosted a scene from “Revenge of the Sith” — and Rome, where antiquity and modernity mingle. All of this coalesced into a sci-fi theme for his terrific spring couture collection, one that straddled a few millennia of fashion ideas since “sci-fi costumes always reference historic dress,” he noted.
Here was a sleeker, edgier Fendi with the glowering Sofia Steinberg opening the display at the Palais Brogniart, the glowing outlines of a fractured temple hovering in the dark. She stormed through a slim, smoke-filled portal in a glistening black column with a side slit, its tight rows of tubular beads catching the light in a way that looked almost pixelated.
That long, lean silhouette predominated, which Jones stretched even further with radical platform shoes without heels — the kind Daphne Guinness strides through life in — giving his already tall cast “that long, skinny, almost alien silhouette,” he said. (The footwear was also a challenge for some of the models, navigating a perforated steel runway and contending with extra-long hemlines.)
A few exits of monastic tailoring ultimately yielded to an array of goddess dresses, most of them long columns, but also shorter gowns, which Jones noted sell very well at Fendi.
For those feeling a little shortchanged of gobsmacking embellishments in a spring couture season dominated by austere silhouettes, Jones delivered plenty of fireworks: a short mink cape and long velvet column bearing ghostly hand-painted images of classical sculptures; a papal purple minidress bearing baroque embellishments reminiscent of Corinthian reliefs, and a series of bustier dresses bearing photo prints of opulent fabrics further exalted with mother-of-pearl embroideries.
Simpler gowns were equally ravishing, with gleaming bodices and chiffon draped over one shoulder. There were a few truly loose dresses, including a stunner of a blanket style banded in beads and worn by Mariacarla Boscono, who looked every inch an empress from a faraway galaxy.