In his 50 years of designing for Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld has registered every possible blip on the radar of fashion’s societal changes. There have been years when the acceptable way to wear fur was privately, on the inside. There have been times, recently, when he’s turned it multicolored brash and pop-looking, tracking youth culture’s propensity for fun. All along, though, it’s always been about showing the techniques this specialist Roman house is capable of producing.
Right now, according to the collection Fendi showed at the end of Paris Couture Week (a first for them), the skill is in manipulating animal pelts as if they were fabric; cutting them in diagonal, wavy, and checkerboard patterns; slicing them together with silvery leather; inserting slivers of transparent plastic; or embroidering them with collaged patches of feather. Lagerfeld’s silhouettes encompassed hooded capes and cocoons, and shorter, layered looks modernized with glinting metallic boots. And whatever else, it demonstrated the confidence of the house of Fendi that there are plenty of women in the world these days who will be triggered to buy on the evidence of the pictures you see here.