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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Fendi: An orchestra of orchids

Milan Fashion Week Day Two

18 Сентября 2014

Fendi is hot and for the new Milan show it went up to boiling point.

Guests were greeted by a long runway with Coliseum-style arched windows, as interpreted in the Mussolini-era building that is Fendi’s new headquarters in Rome.
Then there were the sparky accessories, like Silvia Venturini Fendi’s glamorous, be-jewelled “Tres baguette” bag; or that little, furry, sold-out-in-a-second “Karlito” (for “little Karl”) bag charm. That was swung by top model Cara Delevingne, who opened the show in a cute, short, orchid-print dress.
 
The orchid is a new Fendi “logo”, worn by Lagerfeld himself as a necktie jewel. It was translated into handbag decorations and also appeared at the nape of each model’s hairstyle.
 
Thinking back to the poetry of last season, when Karl buried fresh flowers in Fendi furs, I could see the logic of the floral branding. But the new spring/summer 2015 show was in no way romantic – unless you counted pale blue and pink as the colours for long chiffon skirts.
 
Most of the collection was hard and strong: short dresses where straight lines were drawn into graphic decoration or  bodices that were sliced like strip curtains at a car wash. The shoes had similar straps but they were more delicate.
 
Denim was included in Lagerfeld’s tough geometry, which was drawn with a compass for weird, jodhpur-shaped jeans.
 
I surmised that Karl had been influenced by the new Fendi HQ, Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome, which he had photographed so graphically in the Fendi programme.
 
The bag accessories have been a luxury super-hit, as evidenced by Marigay McKee, new President of Saks Fifth Avenue, rushing to beg for first dibs from Pietro Beccari, Fendi Chairman and CEO, who has done so much to revitalise the brand.
 
I asked Pietro if the orchid will stay as part of the Fendi branding.

“For at least the next two seasons,” he replied. “But you know Karl…” 

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