Yesterday, the House of FENDI presented their 1st ever Haute Couture collection in Paris - In his 50 years of designing for Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld has registered every possible blip on the radar of fashion’s societal changes. There have been years when the acceptable way to wear fur was privately, on the inside. There have been times, recently, when he’s turned it multicolored brash and pop-looking, tracking youth culture’s propensity for fun. All along, though, it’s always been about showing the techniques this specialist Roman house is capable of producing.
The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, where Karl Lagerfeld showed his first haute fourrure collection for Fendi yesterday, has a special meaning for him. It was where Igor Stravinsky premiered his Rite of Spring in 1913, causing one of the greatest scandals in theatrical history, there was a surreal quality to the extravagance of the catwalk display.
It got an enormous boost from the backdrop, a huge simulacrum of one of Giorgio de Chirico's most famous paintings. The building he depicted could have been Fendi's new Roman headquarters. The connections such an image made between past, present, and future seemed wholly appropriate to a show that was celebrating Lagerfeld's 50th year designing for Fendi. He is so anniversary-averse that it was scarcely a milestone he wanted to acknowledge, but the collection he offered up couldn't help but be a summation of everywhere fur has been during his tenure, from the lady mink coat to a technical feat that turns fur into one more fabric in a designer's repertoire. Without a detailed guide, it was all but impossible to nail what it was we were looking at. Chinchilla, sable, and mink seemed like the very hoi polloi of fur compared to the rarefied compositions that shimmered past over moon-age daydream jumpsuits of gold and silver.
The cape worn by Julia Nobis at the very end of the show may have been feathers devolving into a silver-tipped skirt, which set one's mind on a cross-species category search. But Fendi inevitably draws one to the incontrovertible conclusion that nothing is what it seems, so conjecture was futile. And if that casts Karl as a master of illusion, then you can color him perfectly content.
Enjoy the FENDI Fall/Winter '15 Haute Couture runway show at the end of this post!
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: The House of FENDI
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