The backdrop at the top of the Fendi Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear Collection runway was reminiscent of Rome’s ancient wall—that is if the wall had been adapted to include the company’s iconic, emblematic logo recessed with a portal on either side for the models entering and exiting the stage. Many companies are reviving mainstay prints and concepts; it’s no wonder that the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy brand founded in 1925 as a fur and leather speciality boutique might reference its deeply rooted and rich history as one of Italy’s preeimminent luxury fashion houses.
Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld said that his palette was inspired by a recent exhibition at Rome’s Museo Fondazione of American realist painter Edward Hopper. The moody color story was an earthy, neutral blend of rustics—black, grey, brown, loden, and white with the occasional pops of royal and mustard. Architecture, volume and movement were key components directing the collection’s silhouette direction. Double coats with extended tails, envelope jackets curved plackets, capelets with contoured shoulders, and fuller skirts both longer and shorter, played up the presentation’s fluidity and kinetic energy. Most of the collection’s 37 ensembles featured a cinched and often raised waistline, whether with a drawstring or an extra long belt.
Sportswear separates have grown increasingly prevalent on ready-to-wear runways in recent seasons; it’s become the modern way of designing for and dressing today’s woman. How does a family brand steeped and history reconcile the principals upon which it was built and attract a new generation of consumers? By adopting a pragmatic sense of luxury and adapting what it’s always done best. Patchwork, bohemian, and utility aren’t words that are readily idenitifiable with luxury, but being the master that he is, Mr. Lagerfeld and Ms. Silvia Venturi Fendi did just that, creating patchwork fur coats, asymmetrical jackets, cropped tuxedo coats, and riding pants that were interlaced along the inseam. Mid-calf boots and ankle strap heels with rubber toe-caps gave the footwear and overlook a bit of edgy urban appeal.
Karl Lagerfeld remain a perennial fashion favorite because he takes collections with great historical merit and weight and injects them with a sense of modernity and youthfulness. He gives the luxury an ease and wearability. This season the classic, austere brand was infused with a hint of country. Clean, classical materials were updated with new proportions, grahic element, never overdyed or overworked—that's how Fendi redefines chic utilitarianism!
Images provided courtesy of Fendi
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