Rebel Queen: Fendi Spring/Summer 2017

The formidable duo of Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi pulled together a lip-smacking collection inspired by Marie Antoinette that is as appealing as a well-made soufflé – airy, with just enough sweetness topped with a bite of sass
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The dreamy and covertly outrageous collection by the two long-time collaborators, last seen waving their magic over the Legends and Fairy Tales collection, where Kaiser Lagerfeld celebrated 50 years with the house, proved to be an enchanting sequel to the spectacular haute couture show. 

This time, alluring nymphs emerged from the flora and fauna, transformed as modern-day princesses out for a romp in the gardens. Referencing the rococo art movement of 17th and early 18th century, a portmanteau of “rocaille” (French for “shell”) and “barocco” (Italian for Baroque), the creative direction had a subtle filmic quality that punctuated the collection, from the use of French garden prints, to lush brocades. 


The shell theme surfaced through the scallop trims and hems of fluid dresses and skirts, showcasing the nuanced whimsicality that runs through Karl’s creations. The combination of macaroon pastel hues and metallic shimmer – from the lips to the gold and silver tinted prints, steer the looks away from saccharine, to Barbie with edge. A flash of pert behinds encased in aprons, cinched at the waist and opened at the back, could very well be red carpet fodder in the making, for a daring rising star. 

From oversized blooms, baroque brocades, lingerie silks with cut-out butterflies, utilitarian stripes, and leather flower embroidery, it’s easy to get swept away by the melodious cacophony presented at the show. What grounded this artistic display is the tailored silhouettes that consistently threaded through the collection, striking a balance between romanticism and athleticism. 

“We were inspired by legendary women like Marie Antoinette, whose clothes were strict, but who was very open to breaking rules.” – Silvia Venturini Fendi

A highlight of the show must be the intricately dressed arm candy. The sight of the models strutting down the runway in pop-coloured ankle-high sneakers, clutching handbags with colourful straps and impossibly cute floral fur charms hanging from hooks, brought to mind precocious damsels whiling away blue-sky tinted days, with musings of world domination. 

Had the last queen of France been sitting in the front row, she would have approved of the feminine yet boundary-pushing outfits that were flaunted with impunity. Rather than abstracting the look and feel from a specific era, the Marie Antoinettes on the runway appeared to have travelled through a time machine into a future fashion state, with hints of the glorious past as visual accents.

Check out the SS'17 Dossier in the February 2017 issue of L'Officiel Singapore (out now on newsstands and Magzter).



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