For Fendi Haute Couture fall/winter 2023, artistic director Kim Jones took inspiration from high jewellery. In a bewildering display of evening wear, dripping in jewels, ornate embroidery and rendered in luxurious shades, the collection harkened back to a time when conspicuous luxury dominated the season.
While many designers embraced modesty this year, applying couture techniques to everyday clothes, Jones asked, ‘why not amplify clothes to reflect that elaborate work that has been poured into them?’ And from the moment that the first look glided onto the runway—a champagne-hued one-shoulder gown with a cinched bodice and draped skirt, it was clear Jones was putting forward a case for a new kind of loud luxury. Not one laden with monograms and gaudy details but a discerning glamour that spotlights complex artistry.
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“There is an idea of simplicity with hidden intricacies in the collection,” Jones wrote in his show notes. “Much is about volume, drape, and sculptural shape achieved through complex and rigorous pattern cutting, with garments often realised with only a single seam.”
As mind-boggling as that sounds, it was no secret just how much work had gone into the collection. Highlights included asymmetrical midi dresses, sheer gowns adorned with intricate beadwork, obi-like bodices bandaged around the waist, stretch-knitted dresses spangled with paillettes, and swirling motifs of light-reflecting sequins. The colour palette was grounded in Fendi’s signature nuanced neutrals of black, beige, red and chocolate brown, all lifted by fresh gem tones.
Faux fur and feathers, as well as a plethora of ornate accessories and clutches reminiscent of jewellery boxes, gave texture to the fluid looks and served as a nod to the sense of luxury that the Italian fashion house was built on. And at the end of the line, a dazzling finale took form in two sets, one silver and the other pale pink, both dripping in sparkle.
By eschewing the modesty undertaken by many designers this year and leaning into an extravagance that reflects the supreme craftsmanship of Fendi’s ateliers, Jones presents us with glamour of the highest order. Proving once again that there is fashion and then there is couture.
Also read: With Chanel Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023, The Beauty Of Parisienne Everydayness Is Laid Bare
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This story first appeared on GRAZIA International.