From the moment Kim Jones took the realm as Fendi’s Creative director in September 2020, the anticipation around his debut show has been evident. On January 27th 2021, the designer presented his first couture line for the spring/summer season and got the internet buzzing. Legendary ‘90s models like Kate Moss and Christy Turlington shared the runway with their daughter and nephew Lila Moss and James Turlington respectively, alongside Naomi Campbell and the original Charlie’s Angel antagonist Demi Moore. Kim’s tribe of supermodels also included current catwalk celebrities like Bella Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Adwoa Aboah, and Farida Khelfa.
For his first line, Jones drew inspiration from his own personal journey and anecdotes from his memories. Jones payed homage to the Roman mansion by channeling the timeless sensibilities of the Bloomsbury group, which included the iconic Virginia Wolf. A love letter written by Virginia Woolf to Vita Sackville-West in 1928, three years after Fendi was founded was intelligently integrated throughout the collection. You could spot them in metal-bound book clutches, or lines from the text inscribed into Mother of Pearl minaudières or leather boots. Passages from Virginia and Vita’s love-filled letters were recited aloud by friends and family of Fendi, seamlessly blending into the Max Richter background composition which brought the show alive.
The Charleston farmhouse, home to the Bloomsbury group was at a walking distance from Kim Jones’ childhood home. Frescoes by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant found on the walls of the mansion were converted into contemporary surface ornamentation on the gowns. Even though Jones is known for his avant-garde, new-age aesthetic, his first couture show for the heritage house showcased how he embraced its history. For instance, Silvia Venturini Fendi, artistic director of accessories and men’s wear collections, and her daughter Delfina Delettrez Fendi, jewelry creative director, also walked the show besides being involved in the designing and creative process. Nineteen distinct looks were presented through an artistic glass maze created in the form of Fendi’s famous double-F logo. The collection comprised of marble-printed gowns, caped pantsuits, sheer-metallic risqué evening-wear dresses amplified with shoulder-duster earrings, décolletage detail, sheer panels, metallic 3D embellishments, strong constructions and inventive cuts.
Even with an expansive and glorious resume that holds iconic collections for A-list brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton, Jones’ ability to experiment with his design ideology while retaining the signature authenticity of the labels makes him the creative genius that he is.