Jan 14, 2019
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Fendi: Three sketches by Karl and abundant ideas

Jan 14, 2019

It might seem odd to read this but the inspiration for the latest Fendi menswear show was the house’s own creative director Karl Lagerfeld, as “guest artist.”

Fendi - Fall-Winter2019 - Menswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

Menswear director Silvia Fendi revealed that when she began to focus on suiting and tailoring for this winter 2019 collection, she decided to ask Karl to draw a new jacket.
“He is always dressed in a suit or long jacket, so when I asked him he immediately said yes, as he likes new things. The next day I received on my iPhone a sketch and this is the shape,” she explained pointing to a sketch on the backstage wall. It showed a finely defined six-button, double-breasted jacket with patch pockets.

“Chère Silvia, pour garçons et filles c'est joli avec les revers étroit,” read the note from Karl, meaning for boys and girls it’s nice with a narrow lapel.
A silhouette reflected in some crisp super-fine wool blazers; cashmere town-coats and a suit that looked composed of liquid nylon.

Fendi - Fall-Winter2019 - Menswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

 “Today the most subversive clothes a young man can wear is tailoring. But made in a very sophisticated, modern way, and combined with sportswear. There is not one diktat,” argued Silvia.
That was certainly clear on her runway, where the sportswear included big volume parkas and puffer coats, made in nylon or organza. Or even in pinstripe nylon highlighted by reflective threads.
The runway was also crammed with dramatic collage prints were that were a blend of Karl too. Like visual conversations with Lagerfeld including scraps of sketches, photos, envelopes, ads and old logos. These were slickly employed on weekend trolleys, totes, grand suitcases and even huge puffers or organza trench-coats – all of them highly commercial.
Karl also produced a new ornate script, double-FF handwritten logo, which appeared in a series of dynamic cowboy-style boots with contrasting rubber soles. Silvia was even wearing a pair when she took her bow.
“Well, I do merit a few privileges,” she chuckled.

Fendi - Fall-Winter2019 - Menswear - Milan - © PixelFormula

The show was a little erratic – with too many split looks, like jerkins in contrasting colors on each side, and too long. But it was also chock full of highly covetable merchandise. And packed tremendous energy, blessed with a great set courtesy of show producer Sergio Salerni. A magnificent backdrop – a huge bookcase like a modernist gentleman’s library crammed full of faux Fendi sketchbooks. Where the event reached an after-show climax with a one-song performance by Hong Kong rapper and dancer Jackson Wang. He had ladies all in a swoon, and ignited an immediate Instagram firestorm. And, one could not help noticing, where Dolce & Gabbana has become a Chinese-free zone, at Fendi it felt like one was at a convention in Shanghai.

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