It was only after Karl Lagerfeld had designed the latest Fendi collection, featuring a new kind of construction based on panels of leather, that it occurred to him he’d been once again inspired by the architecture of the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, the masterpiece of Fascist architecture that is Fendi’s new headquarters in Rome. The same style of building surrounds the empty, eerie piazzas in the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico. He got a name-check, too.
The panels were strange appurtenances, molding the legs of the models like an abstract apron (actress and erstwhile farm girl Noomi Rapace was reminded of a blacksmith), but Lagerfeld was very taken with them as a way to communicate a longer, more linear proposal. He wanted to move well away from the tendency toward girlie-ness that he’d been bothered by in Fendi’s Spring offering. There was no sign of soft, romantic orchids. Instead, every model’s bag spouted a hard, beaky bird-of-paradise flower. “Pleasant aggressivity,” said Lagerfeld with a smile.
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