Fendi, the Italian luxury fashion house, is renowned for its craftsmanship, innovation and elegance. The brand's couture collections, launched in 2015 by the late Karl Lagerfeld, showcase its expertise in fur, leather and embroidery, as well as its collaboration with talented artists and designers.
For its fall 2023 couture show, Fendi's artistic director of women's collections, Kim Jones, took inspiration from the high jewelry creations of Delfina Delettrez Fendi, the fourth-generation member of the Fendi family and a close friend of Jones. The result was a dazzling display of jewel tones, intricate embellishments and fluid silhouettes that exuded sophistication and ease.
The high jewelry influence
Delettrez Fendi, who has her own jewelry label, designed a 30-piece collection of high jewelry for Fendi, titled "Fendi Triptych". The collection features precious stones such as rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds, set in geometric shapes that echo the Fendi logo. The jewels also incorporate elements of movement, asymmetry and optical illusion, reflecting Delettrez Fendi's signature style.
Jones used Delettrez Fendi's high jewelry as a springboard for his couture collection, translating the colors and shapes of the stones into fabrics and embroideries. He also incorporated some of the jewels into the garments themselves, creating "naked" dresses with jeweled necklines or straps, or adding brooches and earrings to accentuate the draping and wrapping.
The high jewelry influence also extended to the accessories, such as the small leather boxes that the models carried as clutches, or the fur coats that were adorned with sparkling stones. The shoes were also embellished with jewels or metallic chains, adding a touch of glamour to the minimalist shapes.
The fluid silhouettes
Jones said he wanted to create couture that was "nice, elegant and easy to wear", reflecting the needs and preferences of his clients. He opted for simple and graceful silhouettes that were achieved with as few seams as possible, using fabrics such as liquid jersey, satin, organza and tulle.
The collection featured draped, wrapped and semi-caped shapes that hugged the body or flowed around it. The colors ranged from earthy tones such as beige, brown and black, to vibrant hues such as red, pink, purple and blue. Some of the dresses had subtle prints or patterns that evoked marble or stone.
Jones also played with textures and contrasts, using different techniques such as sandblasting, polishing, feathering and tufting to create rich surface effects. He mixed fur with feathers or recycled fox to create cozy coats that resembled plush bathrobes. He also added sequins, chains and crystals to create dazzling outfits that glittered like jewels.
The show venue and atmosphere
The show took place at a marble-floored quadrangle in Paris, inspired by Fendi's headquarters in Rome. The models walked around a central fountain that was decorated with flowers and candles. The soundtrack was a somber rendition of Baroque opera by Klaus Nomi, creating a dramatic mood.
The show was attended by several celebrities and friends of Jones and Delettrez Fendi, such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Donatella Versace, Demi Moore and Bella Hadid. They all wore Fendi outfits that complemented the collection's color palette and aesthetic.
The show was also livestreamed on Fendi's website and social media platforms, allowing viewers from around the world to witness the spectacle. The collection was also available for online purchase immediately after the show, along with Delettrez Fendi's high jewelry pieces.