Sitting in a freezing, inhospitable industrial space waiting for the Fendi show to begin, the huddled, goose-pimpled audience was craving a major fur moment in more ways than one. When Karl Lagerfeld's slick-haired futuristic amazons began to stalk out, bristling with armfuls of metal jewellery, the knitted furs they dragged behind them did have an enviable survival-blanket appeal. But these surprisingly restrained offerings were hardly the kind of explosively creative pieces expected from the house that rewrote the rule book on skins and pelts.

There were no obvious references for the tight, sometimes hobbling silhouettes and aggressively hard-edged look Lagerfeld created (except, perhaps, for a touch of the sci-fi movie Gattaca). His army of women teetered the 100-yard runway in round-toed wedges, brandishing the new Fendi bags like totems (one with a shiny metal handle reminiscent of a transistor radio's, another a jewelled and mirrored minaudière). To be fair, Lagerfeld should get some credit for taking an anti-vintage stance this season—somebody had to do it, after all. "It was not about any past," he declared. "Certainly not my own." That said, his drive to modernism had a dispiriting joylessness about it. Luxe fashion like Fendi's, which speaks in the details of incredible craftsmanship, doesn't necessarily shine in such cold and impersonal surroundings.