Kim Jones is certainly making his impact known with this first Fendi haute couture show as creative director. With a line-up of supermodels that included Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid, Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss, along with daughter Layla Moss, the star-studded line up wore romantic and transcendent gowns that combined the “renegade British sensibility of the Bloomsbury Group” with Italian beauty.
The show notes that came with the Spring Summer 2021 collection included a quote from Virginia Woolf’s classic work Orlando: “Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.”
Titled From Bloomsbury to Borghese, Jones, in his first Fendi haute couture collection, paid homage to the British Bloomsbury cultural Set as well as the heritage of Fendi as a Roman Maison. Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell’s liberated creativity inspired alongside Fendi’s DNA, codes and the beauty of Italian art and sculpture. Jones digs deep within both cultures and times and finds many undiscovered parallels. From marble as a classic Italian material, to the stone being used to bind books published by Virginia and Leonard Wolf. To add to the charm, the grace and elegance of sculptures and how they treated clothing is highly referenced in the dramatic draping of the collection.
Gentle shimmers and metallics often create a mirage-like appeal to some of these iridescent outfits, while motifs and décor used by the Bloomsbury group at their homes find echoes in the embroideries and embellished accessories. Woven jacquards and silken gowns are crafted with intarsia furs, velvet ribbons and hand-beaded tailoring. As a family-run company, Fendi’s sense of continuity is important. Kim Jones takes monograms from Karl Lagerfeld’s final collection and beaded them onto boots. Whilst the concept of family – both real and chosen – is evident through the cast of people chosen to model the collection.