Call it barbarian deluxe. Fendi's women are a tribe of warrior goddesses storming in from the woods with the season's most-prized fur trophies slung about their shoulders. At first sight these furs, with their raggedy raw edges, wild textures and sprouting tufts might look primitive, but the techniques lavished on them are the ultimate in sophistication.

"We cut the fur to shreds and then knitted it to treat it like a fabric to give it lightness and movement," explained Karl Lagerfeld, about a series of shrug-on coats and huge one-armed stoles, devised to be flung around the body as easily as blankets. A fur bolero, worn back to front with pieces flying behind, was worn by Frankie Rayder; a piebald cross-bred knitted mink bobbed on the shoulders of Devon Aoki, and a vast knitted fox stole trailed dramatically from the neck of Jacquetta Wheeler. Inventing new mixes of pelts and casual ways of wearing fur was the Fendi sisters original big idea, and Lagerfeld has kept their expertise at the leading edge of fashion since the 60s. At a time when many houses are marching forward by retrieving a sense of their own past, Sylvia Fendi said,"it was a very emotional show. We wanted to go back to our roots."