Thursday 23rd September

| BY Scarlett Conlon

Fendi: Ready-To-Wear SS22

It was bittersweet that Kim Jones’ first IRL ready-to-wear show for Fendi was missing half the British fashion pack from the FROW. A faulty plane at Heathrow prevented British fashion’s golden boy from being cheered on by a lot of his loyal home crowd who had wasted no time in booking their dawn flight to make the 2pm show earlier this month when the five-day UK to Italia quarantine was scrapped.

If they had made it to Milan, they would have gotten double the bang for their Italian buck, as Jones transported his guests to Rome, the seat of the Fendi brand and home to its imposing Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana HQ  complete with its six-by-nine grid of arched porticos. 

They became the catwalk for Jones’ spring/summer 2022 outing which was, in his own words, “a celebration”. A liberated departure from his last (and first) collection which was awash with autumnal camels, creams and browns, this was a riot of colour. Dazzling hues of gold which came as inserts on kaftans; juicy raspberry popped up on shearling coats; and dusty pink, multicoloured pastels on fringed flapper dresses and sunburst yellow mingled on bandeau maxi dresses.

The shades and silhouettes reflected the era of Jones’ stimulus. For this collection he looked through the Fendi archives and found an old logo by the illustrator – and long-term friend of Jones’ beloved predecessor Karl Lagerfeld – Antonio Lopez. The designer was drawn to his “liberated sensibility and Studio 54 surroundings”.

“While I’ve been looking at Karl’s legacy at the house, I’ve also been looking at his contemporaries, at who he was interested in,” explained Jones. “[Lopez] was forward-thinking, inclusive, looked up to by everyone from Andy Warhol to Steven Meisel and David Hockney. I wanted to introduce him to a new generation.”

It played out to the irresistible 1975 hit “Doctors Orders” by Carol Douglas, as models sported fur coats, skin-tight body-suits, thigh-high boots and panelled appliquéd trench coats featuring the famous “F” as never seen before; sweet and playful and ready to party. Elsewhere, there was a tight line in those era-defining tuxedo suits, but done in that romantic-yet-sharp way Jones has brought before at Fendi and his other gig as Dior Men’s artistic director.

Reflecting on the last 18 months, and the 12 since he was appointed artistic director at this house, he noted: “Our woman has let loose a bit – she’s going out, dressing up,” said Jones. “We’ve all been locked away for so long that I think that’s what we all need right now.” 

Consider this an RSVP.

Photography courtesy of Fendi.