Wednesday 27th January

| BY Claudia Croft

Fendi: Couture SS21

What a way to start. Demi Moore in an off-the-shoulder, black silk tuxedo christened Kim Jones’ new era at Fendi. His first Couture show for the house will go down as one of fashion’s most epic debuts.

Moore, made her way around a vast glass vitrine maze punctuated by a library of rare Bloomsbury Group first editions, indoor gardens and private places for reflection. She was followed by Bella Hadid in a gossamer grey cape over a beaded bias-cut slip. Then Lila Moss appeared, looking like a modernist angel in a sheer pearl-encrusted caped gown. Her mother Kate was next, in an empire line dress the colour of liquid Mercury.

With every look, Jones made his intentions for Fendi clear. The clothes are utterly beautiful, womanly, timeless and rooted in craft. Jones was inspired by the Bloomsbury Group, a fascination he’s nurtured since his boyhood, spent in the shadow of Virginia Woolf’s Sussex home. Her era-hopping, gender-morphing Orlando was a seminal text, and inspiration for the metal-bound ‘book’ clutches carried by Jones’s stellar cast of models including Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cara Delevingne, Adwoa and Kesewa Aboah.

References to Charleston’s frescoes, painted by Vanessa Bell (Woolf’s sister) and Duncan Grant, found their way onto hand-painted boots and embroidery. “I admire the way they lived their lives, the freedom that they created for themselves and the art they left behind,” said Jones.

Bell was fascinated by Rome’s Galleria Borghese, giving Jones a link back to Fendi whose artisans created marbled embroideries and textures. The gallery’s Bernini sculptures informed the deshabille drapery in the collection. There were direct Fendi references too, from the embroidery on boots, (created by Silvia Venturini Fendi who oversees menswear and accessories at the house), based on the ‘Karligraphy’ monogram from Lagerfeld’s final Fendi show, to Delfina Delettrez Fendi. She walked the runway and also designed the jewellery. Kim’s soaring new Fendi starts with a warm, family embrace.

Photography courtesy of Fendi.