It’s been over a week since the world got a preview of Fendi’s 2016 Resort collection at the “Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld” book launch in Cannes and it was only a little taste of things to come for the label. The book launch brought lots of anticipation for an already loved brand that will soon be showing its new collection.
Thankfully we didn’t have to wait that long since the Fendi Resort 2016 lookbook has just been released- and darlings, it was everything we could have wished for and more!
For Resort 2016, Mr. Lagerfeld wanted to explore the contrasting theme of “pleasant aggressively,” a duality that falls between hard and soft, graphic and muted, vivid and pale. He chose the motif of the Strelitzia, or Bird of Paradise flower, to convey this theme. It’s not the first time the exotic bloom has been used by Fendi- a sprinkling of the spindly blossoms appeared during the F/w 2015 show, and in many ways the Strelitzia is the perfect symbol for Mr. Lagerfeld’s idea of the Fendi woman. The delicate petals represent her feminine nature, while the bold leaves convey her strong, determined attitude. The bird of paradise has natural points and edges that compliment the collection’s architectural severity, while its colour and distinct shape strike a chord that is at once youthful and refined.
As a motif, the flower loaned itself perfectly to literal and abstract interpretations in both fabric patterns and adornments: it appeared printed on sundresses, smocks, coats and jackets, was reproduced as appliqués in beads and furs and stitched into patchwork patterns in fur and cashmere. The motif popped up all over the accessories as well, appearing on handbags as beaded embellishments or 3-D leather patches and as patterns in printed leather on shoes.
It’s a stunning collection with something for every style preference to be found within its array- everything from swingy, graphic patterned sundresses and spaghetti-strap maxis appeared alongside utilitarian denims and colour blocked leather. There were flirty skirts, embellished sweaters, colourful button-front shirts, structured mini shorts, striped tunics and lacey separates made out of lazer- cut cotton. There’s also a whole range of fabulous outerwear: colourful patchwork leather biker jackets, reversible shearling- lined parkas in khaki and leather, woven leather trench coats, furred bomber jackets, patterned mink caban coats and reversible denim capes. As I said- choices galore!
Mr. Lagerfeld seemed to embrace a duality in his designs this season, so there was a lot of contrast to be found in this Fendi collection. From patterns, styles, fabric selections to colours, things were constantly juxtaposed but with a harmony of design that showed the high level of creativity of one of the world’s foremost and most productive designers. I can’t say this enough- Karl Lagerfeld is a genius.
Accessory wise, this offering was fabulously resort ready. Every look was paired with wedged sandals, strappy high heels or embellished flats in vivid colours. There were bags galore, with iconic brand designs (the Peekaboo, the 2Jours, the Baguette, etc.) and the newer brand staples (micro backpacks and micro monster bags) being refreshed in vibrant colours and adornments.
Of course Fendi’s famous satirical pieces were on display as well. This season premiered the new ‘Idea!’ capsule; sweaters, outerwear and accessories emblazoned with detachable shearling logos, lightbulbs and apples. They’re witty and playful and are sure to brighten up many a wardrobe come their November release.
To a certain degree Resort 2016 marks a slight shift in Fendi’s design focus, particularly in terms of the raw materials used in garment construction. The house has long been predominantly known as a premier furrier, but this season, emphasis was on the technical manipulation of fabrics. Illusion was a major leitmotif and played out collection wide in a variety of ways: leather, silk and cotton masqueraded as denim, fur mimicked cashmere, while jacquard weaves and leather was woven to resemble tweed. It’s simply stunning and these ‘illusions’ have me eager to see more.
Leather was experimented with extensively this season, treated in an array of textural surface treatments and finishes, allowing it to transform archive designs for the new collection. Items like the biker jacket were overhauled in fizzy silvery blue, metallic cioccolatino parkas and trench coats appeared in plush woven plongé leather, and a denim jacket à la the early-nineties was revamped in fuzzy shearling. Together these pieces added a sparkling new spin to the idea of “Made in Roma”.
All in all, Fendi Resort 2016 is fabulous- it epitomizes the idea of luxury cruise wear in a collection full of show stopping garments! Every piece is infused with that jaunty, youthful vibe that’s become synonymous with the Fendi aesthetic and there’s a lot of choice to be found amongst the array of items. There’s something for every style preference in a fabulous array of colors and clothing options.
This year marks Mr. Lagerfeld’s fiftieth anniversary with the house, but his savoir-faire shows no signs of slowing down. His imaginative approach to construction techniques has resulted in garments that make the heart leap and his revamped versions of iconic designs provide brand lovers with new versions of enduring looks.
Happy Anniversary Mr. Lagerfeld and the House of Fendi- continue being utterly fierce!
It’s an entirely gorgeous and wholly fabulous treat- Fendi Resort 2016 is spectacular!