“The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi is fashion’s longest love story”
Spoke Silvia Venturini Fendi of the 54 years spent together, a long-lasting love affair that would not only stand the test of time but also bring about some of the most iconic fashion moments of the past five decades. It’s the richest of history and a legacy that you can feel in the air as you walk through the streets of Milan.
So here we are, my first time in Milan for Fashion Week and also my first time in attendance for the Fendi show. To be here for such an important and incredible moment in fashion history is humbling to say the least, as we walk in I hear his name mentioned everywhere and as I take my seat, the show notes take the form of Karl Lagerfeld own sketches of this his final collection.
The show itself was recognisably Fendi having a distinct Edwardian style with pointy white high collars, a la the same Mr. Lagerfeld himself would wear and the double-F Fendi logo (affectionately called Karigraphy) a feature in most looks.
There was a sense of balance to this collection, soft and ladylike but with a gentleman’s touch, beautiful large statement bow details atop strong brown suiting and standout leather. Puffer jackets over pleated skirts. My personal highlight (amongst many), the sheer midi length dresses reminiscent of 40’s femininity with strong, striking pagoda shoulders worn over the Fendi logo emblazoned bodysuits. Artful layering at it’s finest. A uniform, and a romantic one at that.
After the final walk, the crowd rose to their feet ready to exit, when the lights dimmed and out of nowhere the screen opened to a shot of a very recognisable gloved hand with a pencil in hand. We all dropped back into our seats and watched on in awe as Mr. Lagerfeld sketched himself in the outfit he wore on his first day at Fendi 54 years ago. A memory shared from the mind of a very public man, that somehow felt intimate like he was speaking directly to each of us. That is the is the charm of Karl Lagerfeld, an untouchable icon yes, but one that shared so much of himself with all of us.
And so as we leave, there are both tears and smiles all around. Fendi and Silvia Venturini Fendi have shared a collection that looks to the future and a show that was a celebration of Karl Lagerfeld’s life and legacy at the brand. A match made in heaven as they say, or perhaps on this occasion we can say a match made in Milan… x