Inside Fendi and Marc Jacobs’ Shimmering Tribute to the Baguette
Is there another “It” bag that has the pop culture significance of the Fendi Baguette? If the finale of the Italian house’s 25th anniversary show had any say in it, the answer is no. Last year, Fendi and Versace collaborated on the logo-heavy and fun-filled Fendace collection. And now, to celebrate a quarter century of fabulous fashion, Fendi has teamed up not only with Marc Jacobs, but also Tiffany & Co., (and Sarah Jessica Parker, who also designed a bag for the anniversary, in tribute to its relationship with the accessory through sex and the city). By moving Fendi’s resort presentation from Milan to New York Fashion Week, it’s clear the brand is forging a new path, with partnerships that span the fashion industry.
Superstars Kate Moss, Shalom Harlow and Amber Valetta sat front row at the show, which took place Sept. 9 at the packed Hammerstein Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan. As signature Fendi techno pounded the room, the all-star lineup paraded down the runway as the reflective backdrop shook with bass. Every type of Baguette imaginable was present: on double handbags, clipped onto mini-skirts, worn on wrists, on hats and socks. There was Baguettes on Baguettes, with mini Baguette clutches attached to the main Baguette handbags.
The Wand became an extension of clothing, seeming to spring from collars, belts, and anywhere there was room to stick a Wand. The silhouette, with its classic buckle and rectangular shape, is as recognizable as it is here.
The clothes – strappy dresses, utility jackets, sequinned strapless dresses and color-blocked sweaters – were beautiful, but pale in comparison to the light given to the accessories. Sporty windbreakers and technical quarter-zip sweaters were definitely New York compared to Fendi’s luxe Roman pieces. They were also, maybe, just a little disappointing for that reason.
Things got interesting when the latest looks emerged. Marc Jacobs was entrusted with the reins to reinterpret Fendi’s most emblematic pieces, in addition to the Baguette; he did it in a purely joyful way. A slew of models wearing XL hats reminiscent of the signatures of Jamiroquai and Pamela Anderson stepped out in oversized, directional pieces. There were funnel neck sweaters with built-in Baguette front pockets and a neon green dress that twisted the Fendi logo on its head (much like the ubiquitous Marc Jacobs totes). The partnership with Jacobs, one of the undisputed greatest American designers of all time, seemed like the perfect marriage of aesthetic language, especially since Jacobs appointed Jones as creative director of menswear at Louis Vuitton. in 2011, when he was working on the French house’s women’s ready-to-wear.
The brilliant quartet of show collaborators closed the show with Linda Evangelista, who wore a flowing Tiffany blue cape dress; Marc Jacobs, Kim Jones, Silvia Venturini Fendi and Delfina Deletrez bowed to her side. Two brands linking up for a collection have been done before, of course, but not in a way that makes it feel like it’s more about self-expression than branding and logomania. We’ve seen almost every type of collaboration imaginable in the fashion world, but somehow a great Italian brand coming to New York and teaming up with a very special New York designer feels different enough to be excited. All this is enough to make us anticipate the next Fendi collaboration and think about how it will make us rethink and recontextualize fashion as we know it.