Fendi celebrated its 90th anniversary in spectacular fashion in Rome with a no-holds-barred couture presentation, which also marked designer Karl Lagerfeld’s 50th year at the helm of the brand. The deep coffers of the Italian fashion house funded an extravagant star-studded event that started with a Fendi-branded “all first class” plane ride and ended with a 500-guest afterparty hosted by Kate Hudson and deejayed by Giorgio Moroder. For those not weary after the day’s opulence, there was an after-afterparty at the new Raspoutine Club. What was especially extraordinary about the Fendi Fall 2016 Couture event was not only the fairytale nature of the runway show, but also the last-minute approval that Fendi received in order to show the collection at the iconic Trevi Fountain. Pietro Beccari, Fendi’s chairman and CEO, told the audience at the afterparty on Pincio Hill that permission to use the fountain had only been granted the previous day at 1 p.m. These are the kinds of details that make this anniversary celebration the stuff of legends.
Couture handiwork was evident on every look.
The magic began with a splash – literally – when the fountains came to life and Kendall Jenner appeared in a nipped-waist coat dress, which was sublimely bedecked in intricate embroidery. Couture handiwork was evident on every look as each stunning piece proffered an array of floral appliqués and embroidery stitching so detailed that the dresses appeared to have been sketched on with a fine pencil. Dreamy landscapes enlivened the surface of regal column gowns, with each fairytale scene directly influenced by Danish artist Kay Nielsen’s illustrations found in the 1914 book East of the Sun and West of the Moon.
Those for whom couture is only a dream would surely appreciate this escapist commentary as Lagerfeld created a fantasy world any dreamer would love to live in. However, the lucky few that claim couture as a daily commodity will no less enjoy the feminine, sensual, and supple Fendi designs that will cloak them in vivid, otherworldly finery.