Fendi's Tribute to the Eternal City

 

Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi celebrate dolce vita and Italian excellence. 

 

Recently, Karl Lagerfeld celebrated his Chanel Autumn/Winter 2016/17 Haute Couture offering in Paris with a show that paid homage to Les Petites Mains – his teams of seamstresses and embroiderers who make the magic happen each and every season. 

 


The Fendi Haute-Fourrure Fall/Winter 2016 show, Roma, by Valerio Mezzanotti for NOWFASHION

 

Yesterday, it was with the same spirit of celebration that Mr. Lagerfeld, together with Silvia Venturini Fendi, revealed his latest so-called Haute Fourrure collection at the Fontana di Trevi on the occasion of the brand's 90th anniversary in Rome. More than just a way to seal Fendi's long-lasting bond with the Eternal City, this offering was above all a celebration of craftsmanship and artisanal excellence.  And what better place to celebrate Italian ingenuity than in Rome, the city where Fendi opened its first boutique-atelier (a small fur atelier and leather goods workshop) in 1926? In fact, as of today, this boutique is still the brand's only in-house fur atelier. 

 

The Fendi Haute-Fourrure Fall/Winter 2016 show, Roma, by Valerio Mezzanotti for NOWFASHION

 

The Fontana di Trevi was an obvious choice – after all, the Italian brand has invested $2.7 million into the restoration of the historical fountain. And now that it's done, this achievement is a great reason to celebrate. “A Haute Fourrure fashion show in Rome is the best way to celebrate Fendi’s 90 year anniversary as it expresses our roots while transmitting daring creativity and craftsmanship in furs,” confirmed Pietro Beccari, Fendi's Chairman and CEO, in an official release. And while this collection was definitely about all things furry, it also proved that fur can come in a multitude of subtle variations – it's not only about the odd fur coat. In fact, the collection showcased was jaw-dropping – think bejeweled and embroidered coats and capes crafted from the finest astrakhan, fur-laced dresses crafted from mink, as well as 3D fur rose applications inserted into crocheted evening numbers, which all had a fairytale princess look to them. 

 

The Fendi Haute-Fourrure Fall/Winter 2016 show, Roma, by Valerio Mezzanotti for NOWFASHION

 

The runway emphasized this dreamy atmosphere, as there was something ethereal and outlandish about the models who were literally walking on water inside the Fountain – a plexiglass runway construction – to a Federico Fellini movie soundtrack. The nod made to the iconic film director was a must, and Karl Lagerfeld made obvious references to Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita," but also to his ecclesiastic fashion designs showcased in his film "Roma" (1972) – scenes that where later censored by the Vatican. 

And Fendi's celebration of Rome is not about to stop: in addition to the showcased Haute Fourrure collection at the Trevi Fountain, the Italian brand just opened an exhibition – "Fendi Roma - The Artisans of Dreams" – at its new headquarters inside Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana and launched a book on this occasion, which celebrates its 90 years. What is there left to say? At the height of his career, Karl Lagerfeld shows us that his collections and runway shows are not only about fashionable excellence, but that they also bear a profound cultural value, one that is about reviving and reinterpreting heritage from the past – and one that proves that all roads still lead to Rome.

 

The Fendi Haute-Fourrure Fall/Winter 2016 show, Roma, by Valerio Mezzanotti for NOWFASHION

 

​​Read our latest features & Haute-Couture fashion week reports in NOWMagazine.

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