It must have been an emotional experience for all who worked at Fendi. Showing their Fall 2019 RTW collection just two days after Karl Lagerfeld’s passing. The dynamics between Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi. as the duet of creative directors, undoubtedly sparked magic in their creative work. Silvia had known Karl for almost her entire life, as he’d worked with her mom at at the Fendi house starting in 1965. And you could see the passion, creativity, and humor he poured in to those clothes. And it’s clear it wasn’t just a business. Having been there that long, they were family too – the Fendi’s and Lagerfeld. And so, just two days after he breathed his last breath, to show the final collection Silvia would ever get a chance to make with Karl…well, I’m not quite sure how she did any of it standing up.
As for the clothes, they were moving steadily further away from haute fourrure into haute couture, especially considering this was a Fall collection. That’s not to say the collection was completely sans fur, and there was plenty of layered textures. I have to admit, I’m wishing for more faux fur, reminiscing for the fun, colorful, fuzzy moments like the Alice in Wonderland Resort 2017 collection, or ah! The Fall 2016 Couture show, celebrating their 90th anniversary – surely Fendi’s apex thus far. But this collection is much more approachable, practical. More socially aware, that’s for sure.
High Edwardian collars oft worn by the late designer himself were met with the occasional caricature-level oversized bows. Vintage 40’s silhouettes came in the form of demure dresses as well as oversized neutral suiting with an almost androgynous feel.
Other looks gave a sporty vibe with striping, piped trim, mesh netting, and pops of fuzzy shearling on the puffy quilted parka or cropped yellow jacket.
Layers were abundant with the Fendi signature cutouts, pleats, double-F motif, and intarsia, and men’s suit pagoda shoulder lines. You almost need a second pass of the entire runway show to notice all of the details. And they were good. All so good.
The accessories this season were absolutely delectable. Harness straps embellished leather and fur shoulder bags, and racer striping down the backs of high-shine or matte boots with ridged slim heels with a slight arc at the top. Just yaaaas.
The Hadid sisters closed the shows in sheer dresses, and you could see the emotion being held in. The sadness in their eyes. I don’t know what Fendi will look like without Karl Lagerfeld, but I can say with few exceptions, I’ve loved his work with Silvia. This was his calling, and this was where he belonged.