Karl Lagerfeld’s fashion illustration inside the press pack said it all: ‘Fur is in the air!’ he’d scribbled. ‘Fur is Fendi and Fendi is Fur.’ A further nine arrows alerted us to ‘fur’, from the frames on sunglasses, bangles and belt to the skirt, bag, scarf and shoes.
Some will find this ostentatious display of animal skin distasteful in the extreme, others will see this as Fendi retracing its heritage as a fur house. Karl Lagerfeld, meanwhile, is never one to shy away from either controversy or nailing the roots of a brand – witness the designer's work for Chanel as well as Fendi.
The collection, entitled ‘Icons unchained’, celebrated the Fendi DNA with a re-reading of fur and the new ‘Selleria’ – the word given to the master saddlers’ craftsmanship methods employed by the Fendi leather goods atelier.
And the new take on it all, as seen through the eyes of Fendi’s Silvia Venturini and Lagerfeld? Punk.
That’s right. The all-encompassing punk trend at last week’s LFW, made it onto the Milan catwalk today. Models sported mohicans of, yes, you’ve guessed it… fur, as well as pointed booties with mirrored, multi-faceted heels and a general aura of anarchy.
The clothes – beneath the ‘metamorphic’ furs that came in clashing colour – were mostly black, body conscious and brooding, to match the electro-clash-punk soundtrack.
But back to the animal skins. It is hard not to marvel at the sheer manipulation of it all – fur that mimicked leather fringing, leather fringing that mimicked fur; fur patchworked like camouflage, shaved, tiered, striped, circled, 3D embroidered and with trompe l’oeil effects to boot.
As for the Fendi bags, they came with almost every outfit, from large squashy styles to framed handbags, to mirrored plexiglass clutches. The new Selleria takes its name from the number of handmade stitches on the brand’s most famous bags, so the new Adele (1328), Anna (1322) and Peekaboo (1584).
It was as vibrant and ultra-crafted as a Fendi show should be, as well as sending out yet another signal that maximalism is well and truly back.