• Models present creations during the Fendi women's Fall/Winter 2019/2020 collection fashion show./AFP Photo
  • Karl Lagerfeld’s sketches for his last collection

Styles that remember

fashion February 27, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION

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Fendi bids a final farewell to Karl Lagerfeld at Milan Fashion Week



Even as the global fashion industry continues to mourn the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, the greatest designer of the modern era, the show must go on. During the Milan Fashion Week, Fendi last week paid tribute to the great master by presenting the final collection designed by Karl Lagerfeld for the Fendi Women’s Autumn and Winter 2019-2020 collection.

“The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi is fashion’s longest love story, one that will continue to touch our lives for years to come. I am profoundly saddened by his passing and deeply touched by his constant care and perseverance until the very end. When we called just a few days before the show, his only thoughts were on the richness and beauty of the collection. It’s a true testament to his character. He is already sorely missed,” says Silvia Venturini Fendi, creative director of accessories and menswear and the third generation of the family’s brand.

Representing a lifetime of dedication and creation from 1965 until today, in his perpetual search for beauty and innovation, Lagerfeld’s commitment to his craft never waned. This collection embodied that devotion, from the season’s defining sketches to his ultimate Fendi gesture, the romantic trace of a silk foulard. Reflected in a multitude of ideas, each expression shown at Milan was innately and forever his own.

Eternally forward-looking, the silhouette was triumphant in its depth and majestic in its simplicity. The trompe l’oeil – an enduring signature – defined fabrications with an opulent hand, as architectural planes are shot through with an irresistible lightness. Neutral tones lifted through pale ivory tulle, warm cognac patent and terracotta calfskin to sublime shades of daffodil, sea green, tangerine and azure. Like petals or plumes, wallpaper prints became textures on cloque, organza and satin.

Drawn from a pagoda shoulder, zipped and double-breasted tailoring was nipped at the waist and threaded with floating bow belts. In cotton poplin and fine leather, pointed shirt collars buttoned high in Karl’s inimitable style were worn with full pleated trousers and under jackets with pockets and asymmetric lapels outlined in a slick shadow play. Diamond shapes abounded in the shifting lines of transparency, pleating and latticework transposed, one over the other, as wrap knife-pleated skirts, monogram tulle bodysuits and laser cut leather outerwear. Designed in 1981, Lagerfeld’s curling “Karligraphy” FF logo monogram appeared on cabochon buttons and intarsia fur, as high-collared shift dresses whispered softly in diaphanous silk and honeycomb lace.

The accessories collection abounded with newness, as the Baguette was transformed in embossed pillow patent, topstitched vegetal leather and a multi-strap utility harness. 

A spacious metal frame tote in shiny calf or Pequin stripe shearling folded into a clutch, while the Peekaboo echoes the season’s perforated techniques. Square-heeled flats or pointed high-heel boots in shiny neoprene and scrolling knitted neoprene continued the season’s shadow motif with a contrast sole and zipper.