#SuzyMFW: Fendi Looks Back to Futurism
“Italian Futurism from Balla – the shape and the cut, translated into clothes – but I don’t have a heavy philosophical message, like some designers,” Karl Lagerfeld explained, reducing to a few words (some of them a touch wicked) the essence of the new Spring/Summer 2018 Fendi collection.
“Lightness – that is the story,” added Silvia Venturini Fendi, the other half of the duo that has steered Fendi into modern fashion reality, beyond the imaginative bags.
The dresses, coats and skirts had lines set at angles, facing off the stage set. There, walls of geometric pastel paintings in lime, rose pink, blue and yellow by Italy’s early Modernist painter Giacomo Balla made a smart backdrop for the semi-sheer summer outfits. Echoing Balla’s works, Fendi’s designs comprised lines criss-crossing the body or were made into checkered patterns.
The concept of transparency, mostly achieved with layers of diaphanous fabric, was a world away from the current trend for see-through, deliberately sexy outfits that offer skin as sin.
In fact, this was one of the most sophisticated and stylish Fendi collections that Lagerfeld and Silvia have delivered, with occasional inserts of fur but keeping mostly to clothes for city and vacation, or, as the show notes put it, “Futurism meets tropical travel”.
Why was it, then, that the clothes never seemed to have quite the punch or the jollity of the accessories, especially the bags, while a hint of the tropics and merriment was even added to semi-transparent socks?
Apart from cheekiness from palm-tree embroidery, the outfits seemed quite serious and very elegantly Italian – especially when compared to the international vibe of the decorated bags.
Lagerfeld made the intersecting lines seem so easy: the horizontally placed fur; a 1950s-style portrait neckline with more geometric effects occupying the exposed neckline; and denim on straight and curvy lines among the more prominent details.
The result was elegant and polite but without the urgency that Balla must have put into his revolutionary work when the art world was fizzing with change.