Futurism simmered under the surface of some recent men’s fall shows — at Acne Studios, Kenzo and Rick Owens, for example — and it emerged in full-on silvery sleekness on Fendi’s couture runway on Thursday.
Artistic director Kim Jones, who frequently takes cues from Karl Lagerfeld’s epic tenure at the Roman house, settled on the late German designer’s penchant for always looking ahead — way ahead.
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“It’s a little bit spacey,” Jones said of his spring couture during a preview, also confessing that he’s a massive “Star Wars” fan. “I have a room in my house, a hobby room, where I have all the toys in their original packaging still.”
Front-row guest Zendaya, star of the soon-to-be-released film “Dune 2,” would be spoiled for choice if she opts to wear Fendi couture for the press tour and premiere events.
The statuesque star would surely look regal in Jones’ pale off-the-shoulder gowns with geometric trains, or his sinuous column dresses with metallic surfaces, or “starry night” embroideries on dégradé chiffon.
Slicked-back, aerodynamic hairstyles, and radical, diamond-encrusted eyewear that swoops over cheekbones and noses heightened the sci-fi feeling, as did Max Richter’s soundtrack of yearning, electronic drones.
But the clothes were pragmatic, for Jones seeks the input of the chic women who orbit around him, including Silvia Venturini Fendi and her daughter Delfina Delettrez Fendi, who respectively contributed an array of bespoke Baguette bags and those futuristic sunglasses by Thelios, considered fine jewelry and retailing in the ballpark of 30,000 euros.
Jones also cited a recent uptick in requests for red carpet couture, “so I’m thinking about all the different people doing that.” He conceived of silvery, alien-esque silhouettes embroidered on the front of austere column dresses.
“It’s kind of giving you an optical illusion, because a lot of people feel uncomfortable on the red carpet so it’s kind of a distraction,” he explained.
Viewed on a screen, these clothes might look exceedingly plain given the simple cuts, but they were meticulously realized: The strapless “box” dress that closed the show, paved in tiny, tube-shaped silver beads, looked as effortless as the one in silk gazar that opened it.
While surface treatments were sometimes busy, including shaggy, tinsel-like surfaces, the fabrics mainly telegraphed delicacy and softness, including dresses in rib-knit vicuna or supple crocodile.
“There’s a lot of loud couture. I like a wearable, quiet couture, which is what we’re selling a lot of,” Jones said.
The biggest event in Fendi’s near future is its 100th anniversary celebrations in June 2025, and Jones said he and members of the Fendi family are hoping to nail down all the elements soon.
Launch Gallery: Fendi Couture Spring 2024
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