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January 04, 2017

The Mastery Behind Fendi’s Legends and Fairy Tales Couture Collection

Text by Tina Dastur

Verve takes an exclusive peek at the workmanship

Picture majestic baroque marble sculptures perched above a water body atop which wraith-like creatures glide under the deepening indigo of the night sky. This enchanting scene was seen at Fendi’s haute fourrure show (so dubbed because of the incredible artisanship involved) in celebration of the heritage fashion house’s 90th anniversary in July this year.

Paying tribute to the city where it all started back in 1926, creative directors Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi immortalised the Trevi Fountain — a historic landmark that the label helped to restore over a period of one and a half years. The inspiration for the collection was a 1914 Norwegian book of fairy tales, East of the Sun and West of the Moon. Alluding to the parallel universe where princesses, fairies and animals roam secret forests, the collection was brought to life via 46 captivating ensembles, which took a total of six months and over 200 to 600 hours to plan and create.

Wispy organza, silk and tulle gowns in muted shades of pinks and whites along with printed fabrics and velvet jacquards helped create a serene morning forest scene that segued into an evening setting, with outfits in blues and blacks fashioned out of furs like mink, lynx, sable, ermine and Persian lamb. The level of experimentation and technique is unprecedented. Each article of attire had something new and exciting to offer — from inlaid fabrics and embroidered lace to layered organza and hand-painted fur.

‘I always take inspiration from what is in the air. But this time I especially took inspiration from some illustrations of legends and fairy tales, very romantic and modern at the same time. All the looks have something poetic, but in a very contemporary dimension,’ said Lagerfeld, and each of the magical creations reflected his unique artistic bent — be it the microscopic squares of fur painstakingly stitched together over 1,200 hours to create a mosaic-like forest scene or the hand-cut floral fur motifs appliquéd on gowns to represent a garden in full bloom.

One left the venue as if emerging from a surreal fantasy, a testament to Fendi’s unrivalled craftsmanship and its reputation for marrying luxury with next-level creativity.

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