Milan Fashion Week opens with Fendi and Del Core
Once, certain fashion designers created to empower women. Others to exalt them or make them beautiful. Today, many creators seem to have a new target in mind – pleasing the personal shopper.
For in today’s land of uber-luxury, if a designer can develop oodles of product that the personal shopper can sell to her very well-heeled clients, then all will be well.
Fendi: Antonio Lopez revival
Which seemed the story behind the latest collection from the house of Fendi, so crammed was it with items that simply reeked of 'rich.'
Not that this wasn’t a powerful display both of the atelier and by Jones, in what was his first true runway show before a live audience since being named creative director a year ago.
In a much-remarked gesture, Kim’s invitation was a plissé fan, the ever-present signature of his successor at Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld. And the fan’s chic sketch came from a famed former collaborator with Karl, the late great illustrator Antonio Lopez. Ideas from the archive that also in diaphanous Grecian goddess gowns and flowing tunics and blouses.
Oddly for a house based in Rome, it had large quantities of classic Italian sportswear – the sort Milanese brands used to show in the Fiera. Especially its opening – long, pristine white cashmere coats; jaunty flared pants and power-shoulder suits.
However, the key to any successful luxe label is the range of accessories, and here Jones hit multiple home-runs – from the deep totes in assemblages of shearling and leather, based on Lopez prints, or a brilliant looped under-arm sack in silver and gold, to the great wedges back with hidden architectural heel or eye-catching thigh boots.
The cast marching under a series of reflective arches that referenced the architecture of Fendi’s 1930s Rationalist building in Rome.
For a scorching summer evening, perfectly cut micro plissé skirts with matching bras or micro stretch cocktails. If it’s a chilly spring evening – gutsy aviator shearling jackets cut well above the hip; or clouds of marabou coats in a muddy abstract colors. For a grand gala, opulent lace cocktails or see-through femme fatale silk blouses, tops and tights in a kiss pattern.
Pre-show, Fendi’s CEO Serge Brunschwig greeted friends and honchos in the most ebullient of moods.
“Business is incredibly good. We are reaching a whole group of customers. You might lose the odd one, but they are replaced by even more new ones,” Brunschwig beamed.
At the finale, Kim took his bows with Silvia Fendi and Delfina Delettrez, grand-daughter and great grand-daughter of the founders of the house, which is now owned by LVMH and Europe’s richest billionaire Bernard Arnault.
In a word, mighty amounts of very marketable merchandise. Everything to make the most demanding personal shopper excited. But as a vision of the future and a fashion statement, it was perhaps rather slight.
Del Core: The vision thing
If one is looking for vision there was gazillions of at Del Core, the new heart throb of insider Milan.
Last season, Daniel Del Core pulled off an major coup de theatre by staging the only runway show in Milan Fashion Week, albeit restricted to just 40 people.
This season he had 300 souls all socially distanced sat inside the giant former skating rink of the Palazzo Del Ghiaccio, with Anna Wintour and a slew of other top editors present.
The Germano-Italian Del Core certainly doesn’t lack for imagination, evidenced in this dramatic display of Italian couture, with elements of biomorphism; grand guignol and tropical fauna.
“I was inspired by a visit to Costa Rica where I stopped by a lake, and felt transported by clouds and nature and the forest. That’s where I began this collection,” explained Daniel in a pre-show chat.
Hence, out marched the cast though some cumulus clouds of red and blue dry ice, in fantastically rippling silk gowns, ruffled endlessly and cut open at the back, practically to the coccyx bone.
Del Core is a highly accomplished draper who is at his best when he is his most flamboyant – like a really beautiful semi-sheer chiffon gown with movie-star sweep and remarkable yellow collars and lapel that floated into the air. Or a cutaway dress embroidered with puckered prairie flowers and dusted with crystals; or a Southern Belle fantasy gown in a rose and leaf print, with ruffles so grand they doubled the size of the dress.
All worn on a fresh cast with jelled-back hair, often topped by giant plissé tropical leaf shaped hats that tower several feet over the head.
The show was about five looks too long, and Del Core clearly lacks a self-editing button, yet this felt like an Alta Moda celebration.
No sign of any personal shopper here, since Del Core’s gal is the VIP determined to make a red carpet splash. He previously handled VIP clients for Alessandro Michele’s Gucci. But no shortage of vision either.
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