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Fendi's Orphic Illusions

The first outing of the rebranded Fendi Couture line brought newfound freshness to the house’s highest-end offering.
By
  • Angelo Flaccavento

PARIS, France — At Fendi​,​ they​ appreciate their optical illusion​s. ​And they master the trick like no other. Today, for their couture show, Fendi teleported the arches of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome - where the brand's headquarters are housed - inside the Paris Bourse. The austere setting was the ideal backdrop for a thrilling collection conceived as an endless guesswork of challenging optical illusions.

When it comes to Fendi, it's always very hard to tell where the fur ends and the fabric begins, but Fendi Couture brings the brand's driving ethos - nothing is impossible - to wholly new heights. The collection has been renamed, because the focus has shifted from luxury fur to include a rounder offer worthy of the high-spending clientele that favors such feats of workmanship.

It was a perfect move that translated into an upbeat line up of freshly ladylike silhouettes in pure "Orphic" hues and incredible inventions in technique and texture. Mink looked like velvet, while furry surfaces were actually shredded organza and sequins looked like sheepskin.

By ​paying homage to Orphism, which was a spin off ​Cubism ​that focused on colour, designer Karl Lagerfeld added his beloved artistic references​ —​ on the tip of the pen, so to speak. The newfound freshness and the invigorating lack of drama signalled an interesting new direction for the brand. The heavy make-up and beehives​​ were a faux pas. Such masterworks of craft need to shine on their own.

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