Front Row

Fendi Spring 2019

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Fendi Spring 2019.

Bridget Foley on Fendi Spring 2019: “The name of the show is GP — giant pockets,” said Karl Lagerfeld pre-show, in his backstage meeting room at Fendi. “GP. Sounds good, no?” Lagerfeld then bemoaned the tight window between getting everyone back to work after the August holidays and staging a show on Sept. 20. “Too early!” he protested. “I went to Rome last week — ‘Where are the materials?’” Separately, Silvia Venturini Fendi described the collection as “very real clothes for a busy woman, very functional, practical.” High-function built with limited materials — not exactly the threshold to rapt anticipation.»

As it turned out, Fendi’s savvy brain trust spoke too modestly. The show was, by Fendi standards, low-key, the lineup, true to billing, a collection for real life. As such, it featured those familiar real-world tropes with which high fashion has become obsessed — utility and sport. Yet this was no mere tony streetwear fest, as Lagerfeld’s approach was less embrace than acknowledgement — yes, life is getting casual — an acceptance he channeled into a nuanced collection, which — his pre-show grousing aside — showed not a hint of hurry-up. Rather, he worked a great deal of design into a lineup that delivered considerable chic with an approachable attitude.

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