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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Fendi: The Experiment is the Message

Godfrey Deeny
September 28th, 2007 @ 00:49 AM - Milan

Rank experimentation was the theme of the Fendi collection presented Thursday evening in Milan, where ideas from Aztec culture, pop futurism, Picabia and fashion atelier pure R&D combined to make a collection that was weird and at times wonderful, albeit more the former than the later.

The setting alone was well worth trudging through the sticky rain of Milan - a Theatre of the Absurd backdrop of plastic walls and neon double F logos, and a transparent catwalk through which wound a twisting tube of several hundred yards, gradually changing colors during the show thanks to coursing liquid. It seemed an apt metaphor for a resolutely experimental house, famed as much in recent years for the innovation of its ideas as for the eccentricity of the results. And the twisting tube mimicked the swirling circles that were the distinctive image of this spring summer 2008 collection.

One had to admire the uniqueness of many of the outfits on display, from transparent plastic capes to sequined jungle king bride frocks to fabulous Montezuma Art Deco belts. Yet the admiration was mixed with the thought, where on earth could a gal actually wear the phantasmagorical clothes, like the mesh tops with tiny tufts of black mink, more suited for a space station cocktail than a tony urban society event.

There was the odd restrained stunner; the great flared black dress with white rosettes worn by model Maria Carla had the noses, and pens, of every stylist in the room twitching.

And Fendi, luxury giant LVMH’s star Italian brand, is now a label on the mend. After several tricky years, Fendi is profitable and clearly finding new, and loyal, customers. Which brings us to the heart of the matter, the famed baguette bag, Fendi’s star product, which this season celebrated its tenth anniversary, and morphed into over-sized units, done in Art Deco mosaics or dyed into candy rapper hues, just like the water that coursed slowly through the bizarre catwalk. As we said, experiments ruled in this show.

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