Fendi Haute Fourrure Fall/Winter 2015-2016
"Silver Moon" was the overarching theme to be found at the house of Fendi's first foray into Haute Fourrure. It was an Alta Moda/Haute Couture collection in all but name, and as such was a display of the maddeningly extravagant technical skills of the Roman Furriers ateliers. The Fendi sisters. led by Silvia Venturini-Fendi saw this as a chance, one, to celebrate the dazzling facility of it's craftsmen and women and two, a way to showcase the mastery of the craft of house designer Karl Lagerfeld, who would be celebrating (well, HE HIMSELF, wouldn't be celebrating, as allergic as Unkle Karl is to anything with a notion of the backwards glancing) 50 years designing for the house. One can fairly imagine it was akin to pulling teeth to even get Karl to commit to doing something that was in any capacity a recognizing of his tenure at the house, but Lagerfeld also likes to challenge himself, and push the limits of the people who work for him. Truth told, he seemingly enjoys pushing himself more.
So, this was an opportunity to show just what the Fendi family's technicians could achieve with fur. And, Oh! What they did accomplish! Firstly, Lagerfeld chose the Théâtre Des Champs-Élysées for showcasing the collection, famous for the infamous 1913 debut of Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du Printemps" and rightly so, Lagerfeld used it as score for the show. Secondly, as with the most recent Fendi collection, there was a influence of Giorgio di Chirico, with a huge backdrop of his painting "Piazza de Italia" serving to drive home the point. (Side Note: Chirico's painting is from 1913, also, same year as the debut of "The Rite of Spring, Lagerfeld's mind is dizzingly agile!) As to the collection itself, Lagerfeld is always plucking and taking from different eras and periods to synthesize something entirely foreign to those times, but provocatively reminiscent of them as envisioned in the modern context. So, one could eek out allusions to Poiret in the cocoon coats or the 1940's as seen through the prism of Ridley Scott's dystopic and futurist vision of Sean Young in "Blade Runner" (The strong Joan Crawford Shoulders, the hair whipped up by Sam McKnight) or the highly stylized Glamour of Erté in the silvery, stylized floral embroideries and elaborate configurations of some of the pieces.
Even with all that boiling together in the stockpot, it never for one second felt trapped in any past, to be sure, it felt entirely of the now, maybe even a little, of the future now. The "Silver Moon" moniker of the collection lent itself more than subtly to the proceedings... everything was shining, almost glowing, but in that darkened theatre, it was as if we were watching some nocturnal migration of pelted beings saunter before us, embraced by the shimmery, ethereal glow of moonlight. The opening exit was all the proof that was needed, a tulip hemmed hooded mantle in deepest, darkest natural Sable (One cannot even FATHOM how much the price of this coat possibly could be) with a sweeping-the-floor train, slinkily stalked the runway and undulated as if it was Velvet. The Silver frost that all natural Sable has seemed even more eerily luminous in this and the following Sable exits that glided out. From this almost, demure opening, things began to shift into high gear as Lagerfeld and his seamstresses began to puzzle-piece together, imitate, reconfigure and pretty much destroy every conception of what fur can be... splicing together two or three diverse pelts into one organic whole... Cutting small pieces of fur of unknown varieties and applying them as applique embroidery ONTO FUR... Feathering long hair Mink to look like something from an ornithologists textbook yet never had these feathers arced skywards for a second! Attaching sheared Mink in a rippling Zig-Zag effect onto clear Plastic in a brief shift dress had to be the height of disregard for the precious nature of fur and made this piece even more delightful for it!
There were Stripes and zigs and zags and Mongolian Lamb mixed with Chinchilla and surmounted as a deliciously gaudy border on a White Broadcloth coat, there was Ermine that looked like Chinchilla, Chinchilla that looked like Lynx, Lynx that looked like... well... The most ungodly expensive and desirable thing in Lynx that any woman could hope to own! There was even needlepoint on Fur! FUCKING SERIOUSLY? Lagerfeld defied every single idea and conception of what Fur is in this monumental ode to all things pelted. It was a Brain-Scrambling masterpiece that will long give evidential proof that Lagerfeld occupies a space that no other designer has ever dared to dream of, and none that are still here, could hope to ascend to. He has no peer. He is an Island. One of Supreme Fashion Paradise. And one, we all hope that we can wash up on it's shores!