Review of Fendi Couture

Spring 2023 Couture Fashion Show

Review of Fendi Couture Spring 2023 Couture Fashion Show

The lightness of being

By Lizzy Bowring

With Paris Haute Couture now drawing to a close, it seemed only fitting for one of the final shows to be Fendi, because it is a house that celebrates its time-honored traditions of the ateliers and craftspeople that create such impeccable couture garments. Kim Jones speaks through the show notes: “. 

It is a celebration of the ateliers and artisans that create these garments, the intensive labor and emotional dedication to each piece that exists for both the maker and the wearer, and how the intimate traditions of the couture are both alive and well

Held behind the magical portals of the Palais Brongniart — with its majestic stone arches and soaring ceilings – Kim Jones S/S 23 Haute Couture presentation began to unfurl. The magnificent venue offered a pristine white oval room akin to a futuristic place in space, a thin thread of laser light curling around the walls to an eery soundtrack monotonously bleeping throughout – just for that sound alone, and you would be forgiven if you thought this was some interplanetary occasion. Yet the white space ( as in A/W 23) is proving to be Kim Jones’s way of showcasing the intricate craftsmanship of the house.

Jones’s presentation was a light breath of infinity – a delicate overture to a week filled with obscure creations – with its confident offering in barely-there silhouettes rendered in the finest soft laces and silk chiffons; they were so light that they could almost evaporate with the slightest puff of wind. The Fendi workmanship is so delicate and painstakingly intricate. Every piece is exquistilty crafted, attention to detail all showcased a heightened appreciation. Within each columnar silhouette, a profound sensibility ensued, individually, and with it’s distinct identity. Although the slim shapes rarely differed in form, it was the combination of materials, whether laser-cut leather, beading, gossamer crochet, micro pleating, or intricate lace that formed each breathtaking piece.

Underwear is the new eveningwear has been a theme for some seasons, but Jones approached his creations with a sensitive, couture aesthetic.

The collection is an inner world made into an external one – both figuratively and literally – with a sense of underwear becoming eveningwear.”

His lingerie looks became long body-skimming Grecian columns with a lightness that gently whispered around the room.

Body-skimming cashmere coats mirroring the intense embroidery of their matching dresses, touched the female form as if lightly traced by the tip of the finger or dense embroideries caressed the tulle columns overlaid with hand-painted flowers. 

The colours too were soft and gentle and in keeping with the fine laces and soft tulles and chiffons. Delicate mother of pearl hues, such as pale blue, pink and peach, found there way in intricate layers of intarsias and delicate crochets, offering interest without being obtrusive. 

This season, I wanted to concentrate on the techniques and craft of couture, with the lightness, fluidity and attitude of today,where iterations, transparencies and techniques of the past go to make up the present and move subtly into the future.

It was an understated collection but what felt the most symbolic was the craft, the craft of couture. Under Kim Jones’ artistic direction, the designer’s S/S 23 provided a triumphant tribute to the collaborators, artisans and makers at the house and beyond. Even when invisible, Kim Jones thoughtful creative collection today was at it’s most visible. Both figuratively and literally!