Karl Lagerfeld debuted the first ever Fendi Couture show at the end of Paris fashion week. A Giorgio de Chirico backdrop set the scene for the runway as the models looking lavish in the most luxurious furs.
The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, where Karl Lagerfeld showed his first haute fourrure collection for Fendi tonight, has a special meaning for him. It was where Igor Stravinsky premiered his Rite of Spring in 1913, causing one of the greatest scandals in theatrical history. A similar uproar might have been anticipated tonight from the anti-fur lobby, but security kept PETA at bay. Still, even without their provoking presence, there was a surreal quality to the extravagance of the catwalk display.
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.
Chinchilla, sable, and mink seemed like the very hoi polloi of fur compared to the rarefied compositions that shimmered past over moon-age daydream jumpsuits of gold and silver.
The connections such an image made between past, present, and future seemed wholly appropriate to a show that was celebrating Lagerfeld's 50th year designing for Fendi.
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