The recent couture season has been characterised by a number of impressive debuts. We’ve seen Pieter Mulier’s triumphant inaugural collection for Alaïa and Demna Gvasalia’s ushering in Balenciaga’s historic return to couture for the first time in decades. After his own debut last season, Kim Jones used his Autumn/Winter 2021 collection for Fendi to refine.
Fendi’s couture showing this year continues the thread Jones has been tracing: last year highlighted the designer’s move from England to Italy through a romantic collection imbued with literary allusions. Fendi’s 2021 couture showing sees him settle fully into his new home in Rome, contending with his new surroundings through the eyes and legacy of celebrated Roman filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini.
“Pasolini observed Rome become modern—and that is what is interesting to me: connecting eras, the old with the new, the past with the present,” said Jones per a release.
The show itself did indeed hark back to some of the more conventional aspects of runway fashion presentations and couture generally. While designers like Iris van Herpen and Gvasalia are either offering more diverse assemblies of models or abandoning the conventional altogether for street-casting, Jones’ Fendi show featured a smattering of yesteryear’s supermodels, as did his couture debut.
Christy Turlington and Amber Valletta moved serenely through the Roman theatre set, captured by Call Me by Your Name filmmaker Luca Guadagnino. The clothes themselves echoed the muted palette of marble and frescos that Rome is known for.
Jones translated the city through marbled silks, Mother of Pearl mosaics, structured column dresses and carefully placed appliques that could be mistaken for prints to the casual eye. Of course, this is haute couture and audiences are watching closely.
Craft and the commitment to texture, shape and movement also came in the form of dresses festooned with feathers and hand-carved jewellery rendered from Italian marble.
Below, view more of Jones’ romantic marriage of past and present.