Is It or Isn’t It?
“Nothing is what it is” – perhaps the most relevant takeaway from Fendi’s Fall 2018 Couture show. In the wake of animal rights protests and simply the growth of a more conscious generation, fur free seems to be the rising trend in high fashion. While labels such as Versace, Gucci, and Giorgio Armani amongst others have all vowed to go fur-free, and of course, Stella McCartney who leads the pack with their synthetic “Fur-Free-Fur”, Fendi takes a different route altogether. Though the design house has not completely done away with fur just yet, the most recent couture show boasts evidence of other options that could fool even the most discerning eye. When combined with luxe minks and ostrich feathers amongst others, alternative materials were used to imitate the real thing. “Are you looking at fur, are you looking at organza, are you looking at chiffon, are you looking at shearling, wool, cashmere…” a spectator comments, from the audience at least, it’s tough to tell. Looks captured the ingenious concept with seamless transitions between real and simulated: “half of the dress is mink, half is made of fabric, but you don’t know which is which”, another recalls.
Opening the presentation was a mod-inspired car coat made of what appears to be colorfully intarsia’d mink furs; in reality, the coat is made of meticulously frayed chiffon which cleverly mimics the short velvety fur. Following suit is a string of looks done in rich, saturated colors, reminiscent of 20th century art and architecture – somewhere between art deco and 60’s modern. Fabrics were constructed into quilted mosaic patterns, fusing both with a luxurious combination of textures. Silhouettes are kept classic and ladylike, based around strapless a-line dresses that graze the calves, retro-recalling peter pan collars, high necklines and pencil skirts. Demure silhouettes and voluminous fluff are offset with semi-sheer layers and scintillating nude and clear sequins, which lend a hint of lustrous sex appeal. Completing the looks were sculptural heels – “something like an object, more than a shoe” – guaranteed to spark a conversation anywhere.