Fendi opens Milan shows with disco glam, butterflies at Ferretti

Fendi designer Kim Jones took fashionistas to the disco at the opening of Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday, in his first in-person catwalk show since joining the Italian luxury label.

In a nod to the heyday of Studio 54 and 1970s disco glamour, models took to the runway in kaftan tops, silk floaty dresses and sharp trouser suits for the spring/summer 2022 womenswear presentation.

Like New York and London, Milan is holding a mix of physical live shows and digital presentations this season. In February, the events were virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with designers turning to videos to present their creations.

“This is my first live show for Fendi, and it’s a celebration,” Jones said in a statement.

“Our woman has let loose a bit – she’s going out, dressing up. We’ve all been locked away for so long that I think that’s what we all need right now.”

Jones, who was named artistic director for Fendi womenswear and couture last September, said he looked to a hand-sketched logo by fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez found in the brand’s archives as the foundation for his collection.

He opened the show with all-white ensembles of slit coats, waistcoat and trouser suits, cape-like gowns and short frocks.

Lopez’ brushstrokes adorned cream kaftan tops and dresses. His artwork also featured on handbags.

Jones, who succeeded late designer Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi and works alongside the founding family’s scion Silvia Venturini Fendi, also took inspirations from Lopez’s drawings for intarsia leather designs, lace dresses and shimmering evening frocks.

There were wide-leg trouser suits worn with bralettes, tassel dresses and an array of furry coats, a staple at Fendi, part of luxury conglomerate LVMH.

Jones chose a colour palette of soft grey, pink and blue before moving to chocolate brown and black for evening wear.

“While I’ve been looking at Karl’s legacy at the house, I’ve also been looking around him, at his contemporaries – at who he was interested in,” Jones said.

“Lopez was a friend of Karl’s and has always been someone who inspired me … I wanted to introduce him to a new generation.”

At the Alberta Ferretti show, models wore fringed crochet tops and floaty shirts in sandy colours with wide-leg trousers as well as macs and colourful short halterneck dresses.

The designer also put fringes on dresses and trousers, paired cropped jackets with mini skirts, and encrusted large sequins and colourful beads on wispy chiffon evening dresses in turquoise, blue, purple and black.

Butterfly patterns and prints adorned some of the designs.


Colourful catwalk shows return at hybrid London Fashion Week

A hybrid London Fashion Week kicked off on Friday, with a mix of digital presentations and the event’s first in-person shows in a year.

International press and buyers were back watching the catwalk presentations, including displays from menswear designer and choreographer Saul Nash and Turkish-born Bora Aksu.

“It feels really great to be back,” Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC), told Reuters. “We’re excited to see those key media and retailers that help drive British business.”

A model presents a creation during the Mark Fast catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain, September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

The line-up features 79 physical events – including shows, appointments and presentations – and 82 digital productions. Only a handful of designers held in-person catwalk shows last September.

At in-person events “we will be asking for proof of vaccination, we will be encouraging everybody to test every morning,” Rush said.

“And if people haven’t been vaccinated, then testing every morning will be absolutely mandatory as well. Backstage is much stricter … and we will be encouraging people to wear masks.”

Models present creations during the Mark Fast catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain, September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

This season, the BFC has teamed up with short-video platform TikTok to host its NEWGEN programme aimed at up-and-coming designers.

Saul Nash dressed models in relaxed loungewear including shiny or printed tracksuits and matching polo tops and shorts.

Known for her feminine designs, Alice Temperley took inspiration from Agatha Christie mystery “Death on the Nile” for her spring/summer 2022 collection.

In a pre-recorded video, models wore floral, leaf and zebra-print dresses, checked trouser suits and safari-inspired denim jumpsuits. For evening wear, there were green silky and black sparkly gowns.

Bora Aksu turned to late Amsterdam socialite Mathilde Willink, known for her bold style, for his spring line of colourful, ruffled dresses, flared trousers and knit ensembles.

In an outdoor garden show, models wore silk tulle and taffeta dresses in hot pink, green, yellow, red and coral – some adorned in floral embellishments. There were also pussy bow collars, cropped jackets and trench coats, accessorised with knotted headscarves.

“As we’re stepping into this new world after a lockdown … I tried to inject this kind of humour and encouragement, and just saying that we don’t actually need to limit ourselves with fitting in a box, we can be free,” Aksu told Reuters.

A model presents a creation during the Bora Aksu Spring/Summer 2022 catwalk show at London Fashion Week in London, Britain, September 17, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

The luxury goods industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with demand dwindling due to store closures and travel restrictions.

The UK womenswear market was worth 26.5 billion pounds ($36.49 billion) in 2020, down from 30.6 billion pounds the previous year, according to market research firm Mintel.

London Fashion Week runs until Tuesday.