Fendi Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2021

The very first Spring/Summer couture show in Fendi’s almost century long history seemed predestined to be historic. The show coincides with the initiation of creative director Kim Jones, who served as director of menswear for Louis Vuitton (even orchestrating a collaboration between them and streetwear brand Supreme) and is three years into his menswear tenure at Dior. His credentials, tied with his predecessor in the role, the late Karl Lagerfeld, meant the bar for the couture show was set higher than ever.

The background for the opulent clothing was a completely transformed Palais Brongniart in Paris. Instead of the grand historic space the venue usually offered, the team at Fendi transformed the space into a reflective wonderland — models strutted down a runway that could never truly be laid out to the viewers’ eyes and placed themselves like ceramic dolls posed in various see-through and socially distant glass boxes, all in the shape of the brand’s logo. 

Demi Moore opened the show, walking confidently with a stoic expression. I like to imagine if there was a physical audience at this show, a hush would have fallen over them as she emerged from the smoke. She was clad in a black tailored blouse paired with equally tailored black trousers, with oversized earrings and a small black clutch.

Bella Hadid was next on the runway in my personal favorite outfit of the collection. The way I can describe this dress is like a dewdrop: remember Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala Look in 2019? Think of that concept, translated effortlessly into a long and flowing deep green evening dress, covered in a cocoon of tulle and bedazzled with little bijoux to make the wearer shine. 

Each of the models maintained the coldly romantic look — the likes of Cara Delevingne, Lila Moss, Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, and Adwoa Aboah were clad in equally beautiful slicked-back hairstyles, pearl detailing, larger-than-life earrings that fell onto the garments, and dewy makeup — all which gave the sense of sirens emerging from the ocean with an avant-garde twist.

For the grande finale, legendary supermodel Naomi Campbell — for who else could close out a show so effortlessly? — walked out in a long marble-patterned dress with matching cape. Earlier’s hypothetical hush from the audience would now be exchanged for a roar of thunderous applause. Her neck and face alone commanded the room, and all the models stopped to watch her. She walked over to her box, climbed the set of stairs left out for her, and turned around, looking like the queen of the castle.

The overall tone of the show shows a mixing of that which is romantic, such as the flowing silhouettes, relaxed fits, and light makeup, with a specific sense of androgyny — not too many of the garments are overtly feminine nor are they overtly masculine: they not only walk the fine line between expression but move and rearrange where the viewer originally thought the line was — because what is expression if not whatever you choose to be?