Vintage, street, eclectic. Vintage, street, eclectic. Vintage, stre. . . . The fashion mantra that’s currently on heavy play and repeat doesn’t hold much sway with Silvia Venturini Fendi or Karl Lagerfeld, as evidenced by their fall Fendi collection. That’s not to say they look at it negatively: Fendi’s too much of an optimistic house to get mired in all that. Instead, fall was intended as a positive exploration of what you can do with the precision of geometry (the line meeting the circle) and a purposefully new approach to volumes (the flat meeting the inflated).
If all this sounds a bit cold and clinical, it wasn’t. What all of their experimentation with striving to attain something that isn’t historicist, nor self consciously “futuristic,” really means is this: a strong showing of fantastic and inventive coats. They either traced a silhouette that swung with fullness—double-breasted and fastened with large, statement buttons, regardless if it was one of two cool cabans (one camel, one black) or an ankle-grazing greatcoat in ivory-colored calf leather or red mohair—or offered chicly lean columnar shapes, in the likes of a black compact wool, and sometimes layered with flat planes of glossy leather. For those really willing to go the distance, down comforter outerwear pieces (and dresses) took volume to a whole new level. Or should that be width? Whatever, they were majorly puffed up.
The collection came accessorized with graphic, geometric, furry renderings of the 2Jours and By the way bags, which, with a nod to the house’s love of organic, natural materials, had an exotically hued bird of paradise flower peeping out of each bag. (No, this isn’t the new playful purse add-on from Fendi: If you want that, it’s a monogrammed fox pom pom.) And there was an extravagant new high-wedge bootee, wild and shaggy and colorful, resting on a clear Perspex partial heel that will no doubt—sorry Karl, apologies Silvia—have the street style documentarians going crazy snapping them come the next round of shows.