Fendi Haute Couture S/S2021 by Kim Jones
Carolina Anzalone explores the first collection for Fendi Couture by the legendary Mr Kim Jones
Bloomsbury to Borghese is the new couture collection presented by Fendi for the coming S/S2021 season; a line full of history and personal references from the designer Kim Jones’ own childhood. The flawlessness of Jones’ designs became obvious from the moment the show began. The venue, maybe telling its own story, was cavernous and made up of a multitude of open glass cages that formed Fendi’s famous ‘opposing Fs’ logo and reflected the sublime silhouettes as the models walked.
The main inspiration behind the new Fendi couture collection comes from the famous writer Virginia Woolf who once said in her famous book Orlando: A Biography: “Memory is the seamstress, and a capricious one of that”. Therefore, Jones looked to indulge Woolf’s theory by adopting an almost time-traveler viewpoint to what he does. Warm familiarity is mixed with a sometimes gender-blurring shot of the ‘now’ wrapped in masculine androgyny to denote fluid choices rather than standard realities. Jones also included references from a love letter written by Woolf in 1928, reinterpreted and subtly dropped into the collection on metal-bound book clutches or even inscribed into a Mother of Pearls minaudière.
With this collection Fendi reminds us of how important memory is for learning from the past to be able to create a better, more exciting future. This new interpretation was enriched with Jones’ own past influences, where the Sussex home of Woolf’s infamous Bloomsbury Group finds a place in the motifs inspired by the Group’s Charleston farmhouse near where Jones grew up. These clear influences were nevertheless recontextualised through ornate beaded boots and hand-painted heels.
Fluid feminine-masculine silhouettes mirroring the marble colour palette of Rome’s Galleria Borghese, merged with the more traditional feminine looks in the show like the angels posing on the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome. The dramatic déshabillé draperies found in couture line showcased the harmony between Italian Classicism and artistic daring, with pieces like the woven jacquards and silken gowns giving ‘voice’ to the dichotomy. Famous fashion royalty Like Cara Delevingne, Bella Hadid, Christy Turlington and Adwoa Aboah only added to the sense of the occasion of it all. And then Jones went even further by sending out Naomi Campbell magnificently draped in long flows of shimmering, marbled fabric to reinforce the collections strong underlying visual narrative.
Bloomsbury to Borghese immerses us in a perpetual and timeless atmosphere dominated by designs that not even royalty can outshine. And, given Jones’ first collection was presented in, effectively, a glass house, who would be the first to throw the first stone?
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