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Karl Lagerfeld presents Fendi’s first Parisian runway show

 

Numéro reports back from “Haute Fourrure,” Fendi’s first Parisian haute couture show, which unveiled Karl Lagerfeld’s autumn/winter 2015−16 “Silver Moon” collection.

For the past few days, fashion editors have been rolling their eyes skywards and excitedly exclaiming, “But what exactly is haute fourrure?” The Fendi show at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées outdid all expectations in answering the question: combining the exceptional savoir-faire of the Fendi workshops with Karl Lagerfeld’s immense talent in the handling of fur and the craftsmanship of Parisian haute couture workshops Lemarié & Hurel, Fendi bewitched its audience with an exceptional collection of furs enhanced with feathers and embroidery.

Heavy security was stationed at the entrance to the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées for fear that thousands of anti-fur activists, who had set up a protest page on Facebook, would attempt to disrupt the show. But in the end the police easily dealt with the two or three protesters who’d arrived in small cars covered in slogans.

 

Inside the theatre, the entire Arnault family, seated in the stalls, attracted a lot of attention from the other guests. The collection, entitled Silver Moon, featured looks that combined graphically cadenced fur with leather thigh boots dyed silver or old gold, and proposed a wardrobe of extraordinary luxury in which sumptuous materials were layered one on top of the other, and even the merest miniskirt was enhanced with feathers. Spectacular, dramatic and very much at home in the theatre where they were shown, the long cape and cocoon coats mixed astrakhan, mink and exquisite embroidery, or displayed just one type of fur, dyed to produce a silvery metallic effect –a technique developed exclusively by Fendi. Yet others comprised bands of fur woven together to stunning effect, or sported black-and-white patterns worthy of Op Art. With a painting by Giorgio di Chirico for a backdrop and Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune for a soundtrack, the show made clear its ambition of channelling a certain idea of the fine arts, which in Italy are so closely related to the prestige craftsmanship traditions. It was the exceptional and the outstanding that were the goal here, and the result was magnificent.

 

By Delphine Roche