Fendi fetes Baguette’s quarter century in Marc Jacobs-designed New York show
If in doubt, collaborate. We live in an era of fashion partnerships, never more so than at Fendi this season, where four designers, and a model, took a joint bow after the house’s stellar show on Friday night in New York.
A show that opened when the house’s women’s wear designer Kim Jones dramatically pulled down a massive beige curtain inside the Hammerstein Ballroom, revealing a giant mirror the better to reflect a glorious collection designed by his former teammate Marc Jacobs.
A show that feted the 25th anniversary of Fendi’s iconic 'Baguette', whose designer Silvia Fendi joined her daughter Delfina Delettrez for the final bow. Before all four designers turned to welcome veteran supermodel and new face of the Baguette Linda Evangelista, attired in a humongous silk taffeta gown. A silver embroidered Baguette on her arm, Evangelista was marking her first fashion appearance in six years, after retreating from public life in a long recovery from an alleged rare reaction to the fat freezing procedure known as CoolSculpting.
On the catwalk, Jacobs celebrated the handbag’s quarter century in the clothes: with several mink parkas finished with oversized Baguette pockets. One model even worn the Baguette as a turquoise silk shoulder pad. Miniature Baguettes with the signature inverted 'F' buckles swung on mini chains on combat skirts, others were reinvented as fanny packs.
Jacobs also incorporated multiple elements of his oeuvre - whether thrift shop inspirations to ironic fashion - into this collection. Making elongated sweatshirts out of ribbed mink and pairing them with semi-sheer skirts. Plus, he played humorously with the Fendi logo - ending with several mad cap duchesses in giant fur cloches and putty silk columns, the last wrapped in a ten-meter fur logo stole dragged along the floor of the ballroom to great applause.
In a collection for gals and girls, Marc’s fetish garments were the shaven fur parkas, ski jackets and bomber jackets -- the latter paired with metallic lace minis. The whole mood managed to be combat ready, yet enormously opulent. Just like Bella Hadid, attired in an aqua turquoise jumpsuit, zipper open to belly button, with matching Baguette wristband and headscarf.
In short, a cunning and clever collab’ that stretched the Fendi DNA and will win this rapidly growing marque even more new fans. Jones, after all is the partnership prince of fashion, who in his day job as menswear designer of Dior has collaborated with the likes of Shawn Stussy, artist KAWS, LA punk star institution Raymond Pettibon and cool jeweller Yoon Ahn.
“Kim initially asked me to design a capsule, but it grew into something more,” explained a bearded Jacobs, who previously worked with Jones when they oversaw the women’s wear and menswear departments, respectively, of Louis Vuitton.
“What was intriguing about this project was that I knew Kim’s work so well from Vuitton, but I began by really looking at what he had done from Fendi, before thinking what I wanted to say about the brand,” added Jacobs, as a pack of paparazzi fought for photos in the backstage.
The evening proved to be a reunification for super models as Kate Moss, Amber Valletta and Christy Turlington all gathered for shots alongside LVMH honchos - Sidney Toledano and Fendi CEO Serge Brunschwig. Before contemporary role models Kim Kardashian and Winnie Harlow also appeared. Jones is nothing but a collegial designer, who wore an argyle sweater with the 'Mix' logo prominent when he took his bow.
Several designers also came to pay homage -- from Zac Posen, to Tommy Hilfiger -- alongside mayor Eric Adams, who opened the 141-show season with a cocktail party in his official residence Gracie Mansion on Thursday night.
The whole city seems taken over by fashion; down in Soho workers were putting the finishing touches on a giant Fendi Roma billboard. Scores of bus shelter ran videos of brands showing this weekend, notably the new 'Cara Loves Karl' capsule which will be celebrated with a penthouse party on the top floor of a 1920’s Wall Street cathedral of finance skyscraper on Monday.
Fendi was no slouch when it came to a party, or parties, either - causing gridlock of Lafayette Street where it hosted a dinner and pandemonium on Ludlow Street at its after party in Soho House Lower East Side.
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