Fendi Haute Couture 2021 Transcends Time
Goddesses and Gods come to life in Kim Jones’ Autumn/Winter 2021 Haute Couture Collection
Mr. Kim Jones ethereal second Fendi couture collection originates from a world of eternal elegance. Inspired by ancient Roman architecture, the collection is a poetic transfiguration of the past within the present day.
Jones debuted his first Haute Couture collection for Fendi last season, which “traced his transition from England” to Italy via a study of literature references and romance. The British designer continued that romantic thread this season, but this time, in his new muse city of Rome.
As seen through the genius lens of director Luca Guadagnino and music by Max Richter, the film takes place in an ancient Rome domus built for Fendi goddesses and gods. Jones settled in the Eternal City, where the poet of Roman film, director Pier Paolo Pasolini, presented a lens through which to explore the capital.
“Rome is a fascinating city because it has so many pasts – and I was drawn to Pasolini because I have always been inspired by his vision of the world,” explains Jones. “He is something of an outsider in Roman history, but one whose voice remains constant.”
Pasolini’s perspective on reality is reflected and refracted throughout, with chapters of Rome’s history interwoven and addressed within a contemporary context.
In a collection where nothing is quite as it seems, where forms and fabrics introduce infinite illusions, filmmaker Luca Guadagnino frames the show through his own understanding of Pasolini. “I have long admired Luca’s work – and, he is someone who, like Pasolini, touches on subjects which are relevant to now,” says Jones.
The widely recognized designer broke down Rome’s architecture, textures, poetry, and drama in swaths of trompe l’oeil marble silks, immensely detailed gowns with life-like flowers and high slits, and embroideries that appeared to mimic the dynamic nature of frescoed ceilings. Full arm-length gloves featuring cream flowers on sheer fabric really stood out and gave the impression of a garden growing from the models’ arms. The strength of the silhouettes is translated into delicate lace mini dresses, where classic volutes are conjured through intricate embroidery. The colosseum’s arches were adapted into the heels of shoes, both as pumps and thigh-high boots.
Overlapping temporalities are most directly expressed within pieces that reanimate antique garments, their furs and fabrics scanned and reprised as ghostly silk jacquards. Embedded with cornely embroidery and crystal beads, they represent a poetic transfiguration of the past within the present day.
The immortal allure of Italian stone, and the methods of its manipulation, appears as a constant medium. Pressed leather pleats capture the illusory spirit of Bernini’s sculptures. Formed from Italian marble, hand-carved jewelry ripples with movement, as if frozen in time. Mother of Pearl mosaics are layered across tulle dresses, handbags, and shoes, while a jumper is pieced in Persian lamb.
The cultural crossroads of Ancient Rome is reflected through a diverse cast, featuring Kate Moss as the head goddess. “At the time, it was the centre of the world,” says Jones. “I wanted to include all of the people who would have inhabited it then, as well as of now.” The spirit of Fendi, of looking to this city’s past as it projects towards the future, is revitalized once more.
Watch the heavenly collection below: