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Fendi Says Farewell To Karl Lagerfeld With A Truly Elegant Collection

Silvia Venturini Fendi calls the relationship between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi "fashion's longest love story".

On Thursday, everyone walked through the doors at Fendi’s headquarters in Milan with the news of Karl Lagerfeld’s passing still fresh in our minds and hearts. It had only been a few days, and it was difficult not to feel emotional even just sitting there amid the sombre atmosphere of Fendi’s Fall/Winter 2019 show, the last that Lagerfeld would ever work on.

There were small yet deeply felt tributes to Lagerfeld, from an “F” with a heart, hand-drawn and initialled by the late great, greeting attendees as they entered the building, to a beautiful cursive double “F” monogram – or”Karligraphy”, which he created in 1981 – that appeared on the lush carpeted runway to delicate tights and bodysuits that would later be seen on the models.

Yet, the show must go on. Lagerfeld, who was reported to still be giving comments on the show before his passing, would have wanted it to be so. And so, it did.

The collection was one of utmost poise and elegance, but with surprises that kept all on their toes, not unlike how Lagerfeld had conducted himself throughout his seventy-decade long career. Crisp, oversized bows on shirts, worn with brown mini suits. Silky shirts with Edwardian collars that went high on the neck, paired with sharp, tailored coats that revealed a surprise bow at the back. Voluminous shirt-dresses that could almost pass as coats, worn over second-skin two-tone boots. Pleated skirts that were both refined and riotous, sometimes completely see-through to show the printed “Karligraphy” tights and punchy-coloured boots worn underneath, other times asymmetrical. Indeed, the pops of bright colour amid the theme of neutrals were a wonderful twist. Glossy green and red, yellow and even pink, sometimes as a full shoe, other times through simple bold stripes on the back of pairs of boots. 

Now, the accessories. Oh, the accessories. How do we even begin? Fendi’s iconic Baguette came down the runway in all shape and manner, from shiny patent to nano sizes, stacked on top of everything from bigger baguettes to minimalistic flat metal-framed document totes to, get this – boots. There were two other additions to the Baguette family: a utilitarian version with a strap harness, and another with long, structured straps. (Upon a closer look post-show, we saw that the former even had a compartment for AirPods.) To top it all off, furry riding hats with monogrammed straps.

With the end of the show came a visibly emotional Silvia Venturini Fendi out to take her finale bow, one that was met with a rousing standing ovation – for her, and for the incredible mentor she had known since she was a child. As a tribute film titled “54 Years Together” rolled, with footage showing Lagerfeld sketching how he looked the day he first arrived for work at Fendi, it was hard for even the most collected of the show attendees to fight back tears. What a monumental legacy he has left behind, and what a future that he has set up for the storied Italian house, too.

What To Read Next: Goodbye, Karl Lagerfeld: A Look Back At His Legacy, Brand To Know: Pacharee and At Michael Kors, A Tale of The 1970s, Studio 54 and Incredible Coats | Cover Image: Natalyn Chan, Images: YOYOKULALA.com

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