It’s been one year since the death of Karl Lagerfeld, and Chanel and Fendi – the houses he looked after – have both changed in his absence. Fendi’s Fall/Winter 2020 show, for example, was size-inclusive for the first time, showcasing curve model Paloma Elsesser and even nodding to age inclusivity by featuring veteran models Karen Elson and Carolyn Murphy. The curvaceous clothes, too, spoke to the body-positivity trend. With silhouettes that were filled out with padding and lush accordion textures, Fendi’s collection invited everyone to sit at the table.
But Lagerfeld was still present in the room. A film he costumed in 1976, Maitresse, was an inspiration point for the collection. The controversial film, which centered around a Parisian dominatrix, received an ‘X’ rating from the local council at the time of its release, but is tame by modern standards. However, the femme fatale angle was clear.
Feminine, alluring, and inclusive, this change of pace felt like the right way forward.
Nipped-waist 1940s silhouettes were given a subversive edge with sheer lace paneling and bonded leather elements, and paired with accessories like elbow-length gloves, chain belts, and fishnet socks. Our favorite recurring motif was a drop shoulder that bowed out into a puffed up articulated sleeve that started at the bicep – it was eye-catching, but also felt fresh. It appeared on shaved mink coats, silk shirting, outerwear, and lace frocks alike. In a sea of dramatic sleeves at other Fall/Winter 2020 shows, this look was a clear winner.
The return of the millennial pink on the runway was a surprise, but Fendi’s version was as plush as a pillow and imbued with a boudoir quality. Fur was also less of an emphasis this time around. Feminine, alluring, and inclusive, this change of pace felt like the right way forward.