From grand gowns to a sophisticated LBD, the collection offers more than what meets the eyes
July 19, 2021: Inspired by film director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s neorealistic Roman cinema, with every iconic architecture of the city visible on its mock horizon, designer Kim Jones presented Fendi’s couture collection for Autumn/Winter 2021 recently.
Mr. Jones traced his transition from England to Rome with his debut couture collection, where the Autumn/Winter 2021 collection follows him settling into the Eternal City.
Drawn to Pasolini because of his vision of the world, Mr. Jones has found his inspiration in the fascination of Rome with its plenty pasts. He talks of Pasolini as one whose remained constant while he was something of an outsider in Roman history.
Reflecting and refracting throughout is Pasolini’s perspective on reality, interwoven with chapters of Rome’s history and addressed within a contemporary context. This collection is one in which nothing is quite as it seems, forms and fabrics introduce infinite illusions.
Setting a direction for Fendi that epitomises a popular comprehension of haute couture as easily identifiable, Mr. Jones brings together bold ballroom silhouettes, sumptuous scarface decoration and famous faces with 32 looks. Manifesting his couture expression into decoration and fabrication above all, Mr. Jones talks about how couture clients turn to Fendi for ‘something extravagant’.
The collection displays overlapping temporalities directly expressed within pieces that reanimate antique garments, with their furs and fabrics scanned and reiterated as ghostly silk jacquards. Locating a poetic transfiguration of the past within the present day are the cornely embroidery and crystal beads.
With life breathed into the Roman statues surrounding the Fendi Palazzo, the expression of their marble drapery is expressed through tromp l’oeil silks, and the arches they inhabit adapted into the heels of the shoes.
The strength of their silhouettes are translated into delicate lace mini dresses, and classic volutes are conjured through intricate embroidery.
Appearing as a constant conceit is the immortal allure of Italian stone, and the methods of its manipulation. Pietra dura inlays become supple leather intarsia and pressed leather pleats capture the delusive spirit of Bernini’s sculptures.
Hand-carved jewellery, made from Italian marble, seem to ripple with movement, as though frozen in time. Mother of pearl mosaics have been layered across handbags, shoes and tulle dresses.
Catching eyes were the allover petal work of Kate Moss’s oversized dress, and the marbling of Amber Valleta’s swathing gown. Mr. Jones’s play with shape and amped up cutting created compelling silhouettes.
Reflecting the cultural crossroads through a diverse cast comprising models of all ages, Mr. Jones talked about how the spirit of Fendi is revitalised once more, looking to Rome’s past as it projects towards the future.