I’m always interested to see what Karl Lagerfeld and Sylvia Venturini Fendi create for their runway shows, but there’s always a little extra interest for their Spring/summer presentations. Considering that Fendi is known for its expertise in fur and leather – two materials that don’t lend themselves well to warm weather, it’s intriguing to see what the duo come up with. Well following the Fendi S/s 2016 collection, I’m a believer- turns out that there’s definitely room for leather and fur in your spring wardrobe!
Spring 2016 brought a new look to the term “period dressing” with clothing references that harkened back to bygone eras. Mr. Lagerfeld is famously anti- retro, but this season, he drew inspiration from multiple historical reference points. There was a lot going on in this lineup: stiff, high necklines played up a Victorian theme, full-skirted dresses worn over blouses referenced Alpine milkmaids, A-line pieces worked a crusader vibe, puffed- sleeve tunics and bloomers brought courtly thoughts, while restrictive 80’s-esque yokes and leather breastplates/corsets brought a touch of modern kink. It’s a veritable mashup of costume history… but somehow it all seemed to work!
Crisp, poet- sleeved blouses, circle skirts and elegant tulip dresses were shown in sequence with leather body suits, cargo trousers and mini shorts. There were sheer blouses, flirty flower-embellished party frocks, tapered sheaf dresses with cut-away waists, smocked playsuits, cropped jackets, and summery furs done in a cool open-weave technique.
There’s a certain practicality to many of the looks as many pieces can transition seamlessly through the day and extending into the year. Properly styled, those pouf- sleeved blouses would look great when worn at the workplace or to lunch and are even smart enough to wear at night. The bodysuits are appropriate for a club but would look just as cute layered under a flirty skirt or paired with trousers. Those cutout jackets look good with anything and the outerwear can be extended all the way into fall. It’s all great!
Much emphasis was placed on proportion for Spring 2016, with the designers manipulating fabrics and silhouettes to create sculptural shapes that enhanced womanly curves. Mr. Lagerfeld stayed away from flouf, preferring to create sharp shapes with plain lines, clean cuts and crisp fabric. It does echo Christian Dior’s “New Look”, but the overall effect is entirely modern. Ballooning sleeves, skirts and trouser legs were cinched in at the waist by crisp, almost armor- like corsetry on the voluminous looks, while plainer ones were crafted with precise slits and cutouts at the waist to create exaggerated hourglass figures.
The masterful work of the Fendi atelier was on display throughout the show, particularly in it’s expert leatherwork and weaving. This season, Mr. Lagerfeld preferred a more organic approach to ornamentation and choose decorative stitches and weaves as his only adornment. Some dresses had pockets outlined in wide whipstitching, while others featured harnesses of braided snakeskin, body suits and blouses were contoured by tight basket weaves, and tight smocking gripped the wrists and waists of the more fluid looks. 3D leather flower appliqué brought a cutesy vibe to the lineup, while all those cutouts provided graphic impact with a touch of sexiness.
At a time when intricate surface decoration is everywhere, this leaner approach to ornamentation made for a very refreshing change on pace.
Accessories- wise, this season brought new innovations to Fendi’s already impressive handbag lineup. Detachable 3-D leather flowers decorated the handles and faces of cross-body bags and totes, there were graphic patchwork patterns, decorative whip stitched borders and intricate multi-coloured leather weaves. Many pieces featured detachable straps and handles, allowing buyers to customize each bag to their individual tastes by switching selections from Fendi’s large array of decorative fastenings, or by omitting the straps all together. It’s a great idea on Fendi’s part, and plays in perfectly (and fiercely) with this season’s theme of function-meets-fashion.
Fendi’s S/s 2016 collection was truly one of my favourites from the Milan shows. Everything- from the garments, to the shoes, accessories and runway styling was perfectly done and I thoroughly enjoyed it all. There was a lot to be seen in the lineup, but Mr. Lagerfeld has a deft hand, and masterfully navigated his way through this sea of references. There’s a great amount of contrast in the collection (hard/soft, freedom/restraint, tough/feminine, practical/whimsical, classic/contemporary) but this juxtaposition provides the offering with a savvy dual nature that I’m certain will appeal to consumers.
It was masterfully done and I can’t wait for this collection to hit stores! Fendi Spring 2016 was just too fab!
Xx – Ana