The final collection the late Karl Lagerfeld designed for Fendi as its creative director (a position he held since 1965) was presented at Milan fashion week yesterday.
As Fendi lovers and obvious admirers of the late fashion icon Lagerfeld, trooped in to witness the show, every present soul was greeted by his/her seat with a small card placed on it, inscribed with Karl’s signature and 19.02.2019 (the date of his death) inked with a note by Silvia Venturini Fendi, Karl’s successor, which read, “In his perpetual search for beauty and innovation, Karl’s commitment to his craft never waned. The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi is fashion’s longest love story, one that will continue to touch our lives for years to come. I am profoundly saddened by his passing and deeply touched by his constant care and perseverance until the very end. We were called just a few days before the show, his only thoughts were on the richness and beauty of the Collection. It’s a true testament to his character. He shall be so missed”.
“Love KL” was boldly inscribed over the catwalk as models strutted in one ensemble to the other, while a calligraphic F, hand written by Karl himself during his days of living, had been stitched into the taupe catwalk that made the runway. Fran Summers walked onto the runway with a playing piano as an accompaniment dressed in somewhat how Karl might have dressed if he made that walk, a giant snowy white bow at the throat crowning a sharply tailored mushroom colored double-breasted jacket.
Karl, who was a big fan of the late music icon Bowie, whom Karl described when he died as “A great artist and timeless fashion icon who will remain a reference” had in his honor of his memory Bowie’s song ‘Heroes’ played to the ears of the show audience as an emotional Silvia Venturini took her bow in honor of her longtime mentor.
As the show continued, a video flashed on the screen board above the catwalk with the words “54 years together”. Visuals of the video was Karl been asked to draw a sketch of himself as he was when he first arrived at Fendi. The icon, then a new face in fashion, begins drawing himself with a black sharpie: Cerruti hat, long hair, dark glasses, a printed lavaliere tie, Norfolk jacket in Scottish tweed in red and yellow, French culottes boots and a bag. A typical representation of what he left us with, but in grey formula.
The autumn/winter 2019 Fendi collection presentation was more of starched white collars, frock coats, a flash of yellow patents- all matched with ponytails, mimicking the legendary Karl Lagerfeld.