A beautiful and mesmerising collection and catwalk location for Fendi’s 90th anniversary, where the models appeared to float above Rome’s Trevi Fountain dressed in ethereal embellished coats and gowns. (Love this show but HATE the use of fur 😦 )
vogue.co.uk (Sarah Harris) – KARL LAGERFELD can actually make man walk on water. Ok, women. Ok, models. And not just any water but Rome’s Trevi Fountain water – which turned out to be his venue for tonight’s Legends and Fairytales haute fourrure show in celebration of Fendi’s 90th anniversary.
But to rewind, scoring one of the most famous fountains in the world wasn’t an easy feat (these large scale, big money productions rarely ever are). Regardless of the fact that the brand was founded here opening its first boutique in 1926 in Via del Plebiscito, Italian bureaucracy isn’t simple to navigate. Last month, Rome got a new mayor, and as it turns out, the new mayor – lawyer Virginia Raggi, the city’s first ever female mayor – is an environmentalist and part of the anti-luxury movement, and so the idea of a fur-centric collection by an uber luxury brand staged on the Trevi Fountain would seem impossible at worse, overly ambitious, at best. But Fendi does possess a trump card, to the tune of 2.6 million euros in fact. It’s the amount the house poured into the fountain’s restoration project. It swayed it.
But that was only the first hurdle. The second was having to close the surrounding 97 businesses to accommodate a fashion show; the third was having to physically drain the fountain to suspend a perspex runway on top of it, not simply around it, but actually on top of it, and then of course to fill it all back up again with water. And the fourth – truly, the list goes on and on and on – was that all of this was only confirmed a mere three days ago, and everybody knows Italian workmen aren’t blessed with any sense of urgency. But if one believes in miracles – or indeed a fairytale ending, then this was it.
Karl Lagerfeld clearly does, his collection this evening took its cue from them, in particular East Of the Sun, West of the Moon, illustrated by Kay Nielsen. Opened by Kendall Jenner, mink coats, frothy chiffon dresses and sheer gowns were meticulously intarsia’d together to create naïve woodland scenes that depicted trees in silhouette, botanicals in bloom, alongside rolling hills, castles set into the distance and blonde princesses. It was utterly enchanting.
Post show, the 600 guests were whisked off to Terrazza del Pincio for a seated three-course dinner in the gardens, with the glow of the Vatican in the near distance. It was set under umbrella pines and a perfect crescent moon that who knows Lagerfeld might well have put up there himself. Post show, he quipped, “It was not so bad was it – but what the hell will we do for the 100th?”