The Roman Colosseum and Hadrian’s Temple of Venus formed the majestic backdrop for Fendi’s autumn/winter 2019 couture collection, which served as a tribute to the late Karl Lagerfeld. The relationship between Lagerfeld and the house of Fendi began in 1965, when he was brought in to transform the burgeoning fashion house. Lagerfeld famously created the double F logo and helped turned Fendi into a household name. From there, the rest is history.
Silvia Venturini Fendi said she had always wanted to show at this particular location, and when Lagerfeld died, “we said that the plan had to go forward and we had to do it and dedicate this show to him.” The collection entitled “Romanity” featured 54 silhouettes to represent the 54 years Karl Lagerfeld was at the helm as creative director. Archival sketches by Karl Lagerfeld informed many of the collection’s silhouettes, but Venturini Fendi herself took inspiration from a gift Lagerfeld gave her the last time they were together; a book on the Viennese Secessionists, “Ver Sacrum.” Still, she had to put something of herself into it noted, Venturini Fendi “to celebrate the ageless glory of Rome.” More specifically the ancient marble flooring and mosaic tiles which led to mosaic print ballgowns and marble printed cropped tops worn under sheer evening dresses.
Each of the models wore a page-boy wig custom dyed to match their outfit. Cindy Crawford’s daughter, Kaia Gerber, wore a pastel pink wig with a floor-length, pastel-swirled fur dress. The whole collection, including the style of the wigs, as well as the vintage-looking furs, gold hoop earrings, and flares gave off a glamorous 70s Studio 54 vibe. Fendi also explained that the furs this season are “lighter and lighter.” There are “bricks” of finely sheared fur or fabric pieces with sheer tulle as the “grout” for a breathable effect. The collection evoked the rich history of Rome, but remained firmly rooted in the desires of the present, proving Silvia Venturini Fendi and her team are the standard-bearers of the Lagerfeld legacy.