Lou Stoppard reports on the Fendi show
Maybe it's the upcoming Met exhibition 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture', which will explore punk's influence on high fashion, but the spirit of rebellion is definitely in the air in Milan. Karl Largerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fend furnished their models with fur mohawks - neon teal and electric violet furhawks, that transformed the girls into retro punk princesses.
Maybe it's the upcoming Met exhibition 'PUNK: Chaos to Couture', which will explore punk's influence on high fashion, but the spirit of rebellion is definitely in the air in Milan. Last night Francesco Scognamiglio styled his girls with a nod to punk - see the platinum hair and ear hardware - and today Karl Largerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi took things one step further, furnishing their models with fur mohawks - neon teal and electric violet furhawks, that transformed the girls into punk princesses.
'Fur is Fendi and Fendi is Fur', proclaimed the press notes. Indeed, this was PETA's worst nightmare. Mink and fox appeared on everything from the coats to the shoes and sunglasses. While the surface did plenty to keep the eyes occupied, the real depth and excitement in the collection came in the incredible skill and technique behind each piece. Whether shown through intricate 3D fur embroidery or natty tromp l'oeil detailing that made leather mimic fur, the message was the mite and prowess of Fendi's craftsmanship.
But while this collection was opulent and rich it was also humorous. When the models took their final turn they became a vision of riotous colour and energy. Even their bags came garnished with little monsters that resembled Angry Birds characters. The olympic-length runway - Milan's longest apparently - transformed into Sesame Street. Had Lagerfeld got cartoon fever? - he does enjoy exploring low culture, after all.
While the show notes may have promised us 'a contemporary re-reading of fur', the collection had a retro undertone, particularly evident in those eighties neons and trousers tailored like harem pants. The title of 'Icons unchained' seemed much more apt. There was something unhinged and unrestrained about this showing - all the Fendi classics were there, from the iconic handbags to the sumptuous fur outerwear, but they had been upturned with a dose of mania. Fun is Fendi and Fendi is Very Fun for Autumn/Winter 2013 it seems.