Earlier this month, the historic Palatine Hill in the heart of the ancient Roman Forum was transformed into a venue for the elegant and fashionable at the launch of Fendi’s Autumn/Winter 2019-2020 haute couture collection. Rich in heritage, beauty and romanticism, the location was the perfect setting for the Italian fashion giant to not only present their exquisite creations, but also pay a heartfelt tribute to its much loved and hugely talented creative director, Karl Lagerfeld.
The famed designer’s 54 years of dedication and contributions to the international brand were acknowledged in 54 silhouettes that reflected the classical aesthetics of its surroundings. The magnificent architecture of Hadrian’s Temple loomed in the background as the collection unfolded in a symphony of shifting impressions of timeless glory and flowing fabrics.
The selection explores the metamorphic splendour of marble, threaded as it is with crystalline veins and otherworldly colours. Pictorial motifs and decorations inspired by exceptional marquetry and mosaics from a bygone era have been artistically transposed on to cloth and furs. These striking design elements blur the lines of materiality in a swish of pastel hues — soft shades of citrine, jade, rose quartz and chalcedony effortlessly blend with mineral and earth tones flecked with gold. And all make a stunning appearance on a range of pencil skirts, blouses and palazzo trousers in silk moiré, as well as diaphanous bishop-sleeve gowns and graceful coats.
Adding to the charm of these pieces is the fact that they bear the unique imprint of Lagerfeld’s creative vision. This has been made possible by archive sketches — handpicked by Silvia Venturini Fendi, creative director of Fendi — that have informed the use of sweeping lines of tailoring, the generous drape of empress dresses, tucked shoulders and a graphic décolleté in this collection. Special weaving techniques reappear on opulent fur Baguette bags, transparent sandals and boots.