The show backdrop seemed to say it all: a collage made from cardboard and burlap that, upon closer inspection, formed the Roman house’s iconic FF logo. While the seemingly haphazardly assembled signage seemed to suggest a rough ‘n’ tumble collection, it was anything but. In fact, this was one of Karl Lagerfeld’s best Fendi collections to date. Terrific in all its pursuits, these were clothes that real women–of all ages–can wear with great aplomb. Men’s wear influences were aplenty, with the gorgeous fusion of sturdy fabrics like supple leathers, lodens and meltons all gently structured to silhouette the body beautifully. With streaks of red dye in the models’ hair, there was a brush of artistic prowess evident in the ribbed wool stockings in colors from mustard to brick red to the chunky-heeled perforated leather Mary Janes. For finishing touches, Lagerfeld applied oversized, sculptural flower-like jabots to dresses and shirts that Silvia Fendi nicely complemented with semiprecious stone clutches.
But what would a fall Fendi collection be without talk of those furs? Terribly inventive this season, Lagerfeld pieced them together in combinations of sable, croc, shearling, fox, mink, Persian lamb and chinchilla to stunning effect. There was nothing weighed down or dowdy here; the strips of fox fur elegantly inserted into the sewn tulle was magical–so much so that it literally sparkled on the runway.