10 posts tagged "Silvia Venturini Fendi"
The house of Fendi has long held close ties to the world of design. While everyone else was (and is) collaborating with artists (this year’s Art Basel brings Ryan McGinley for Calvin Klein and Visionaire for Gap, to name just a couple), Fendi was focusing on its own cross-pollination. Silvia Venturini Fendi, daughter of Anna Fendi and mother of Delfina, has been at the forefront of the house’s push toward contemporary design since founding Fendi Casa in 1997—applying the brand’s playful, irreverent aesthetic to specially commissioned projects with forward-thinking designers, including Aranda/Lasch, Beta Tank, and Toan Nguyen. This week, Fendi Casa is introducing a new capsule collection of steel- and fur-based items with famed Paris furniture designer Maria Pergay. We sat down with Venturini Fendi at the pool by The Standard Spa to discuss her work with Pergay, how Fendi Casa fits into the house’s larger vision, and why Karl Lagerfeld never—and always—shocks.
On the fashion front, how do you and Karl Lagerfeld keep the house of Fendi’s designs fresh?
We are always the same. Karl has been working with Fendi since forever…from ’65. Me, I was born at Fendi, so we are always the same people. But we have finally set up a structure thanks to the LVMH group entering in 2000, and we went through many, many changes. And today we are ready to go like a lightning bolt to what we really want and to what Fendi really is. We have a very good energy at the moment at Fendi. We are very free in what we do—and this you can see. Our shows and our collections are concentrated on what Fendi has been doing and representing in the fashion world: quality, tradition, and heavy, heavy experimentation. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. That’s something that I think we really have in common with Maria Pergay. It’s this lightness in serious things.
Has working with Karl changed over the years?
I can say no. Every time is like the first time. You know, Karl will surprise you. He’s not predictable at all. And every time, when he arrives [in Rome from Paris], there’s the same expectation and energy. He has to say, “Oh! How did you do that? It’s what I really wanted to achieve and you made it!” Karl is one of the most intelligent people that I’ve ever met in my life. And he gets bored very easily. If he sees something that he’s already seen, he’s not attracted at all. So every time, you have to submit something new—like new techniques, new materials, and new ways of doing the same thing, like fur, for instance. Every time, we really want it to morph into something else.
Delfina has also become more and more involved.
Yes! Now she’s involved in Fendi. I’m very happy because she’s doing the fashion jewelry. I’m very proud. The story continues. Karl is very happy, and they get along very well. I like her crazy earrings with the feathers, which are in reality fox fur. So light and so beautiful. So we’ll see what she comes up with for the next show. She combines her vision with Fendi’s vision in a very balanced way.
Everyone’s been talking about those Monster bags and fur Buggie charms…
Yeah! They sold out everywhere. The Monsters, really they represent our DNA. In the sixties—[during the time of] my mother and her sisters—fur was something very, very boring, and it was a real status symbol. Men would buy it for women to show that they were rich. The bigger the coat, the bigger the wallet. Really, my mother and her sisters were fighting all that. They wanted to liberate women in the sixties. You couldn’t even drive a car with this heavy fur on, and since it was very, very precious, you had four or five linings to protect the skins. My mother and her sisters took away all of these and treated it like it was a normal fabric. They were cutting things that were so expensive, that nobody could touch. And the little Monsters are really there to say, “Yes, we do fur, but we play with it.” I like them. They make me happy.
Tell us about the collaboration with Maria Pergay. How did it evolve?
I’ve always been fascinated by strong women with strong points of view, and I think that she really is, in a way, a Fendi woman—because she reminds me of the women of my family. In the fifties, when she started her production, she turned steel into something more sensual and feminine. And so, one day when I was at Art Basel, they told me that she was there with her gallery, so I went downstairs to meet her, and I said I was one of her admirers, and one day, maybe she would be open to doing something. And she said, “Yes, yes, yes!” But the first thing that she said was, “You know, I don’t know anything about fashion.” After a few months, we started working on one piece. One piece became several pieces. Four. Maria is the first designer that we are going to produce.
Fendi’s been having this conversation with design for many years, while other people have been focusing more on art.
We really thought from the very beginning that there is a common relationship, and we are closer to design than to art, because design and fashion share the fact that you have to have an aesthetic vision and a creative vision, but also, you have to make something technical and functional. That makes life more challenging sometimes. There is a lot of research that goes into these projects, and all the background work is so interesting. At least to me, this is the best part.
Monsters—in various iterations and levels of scariness—have been scampering across runways of late. Christopher Kane gave us Frankenstein for Spring ’13, an idea that evolved into a zany-brained cranium motif on his Fall ’13 wares. Jeremy Scott printed his Fall ’13 minis and bombers with slimy green mutants. But none have revived the monster quite so smartly as mad scientists Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi.
Last season, Fendi presented handbags adorned with furry pom-pomed key chains, which appeared to be part owl, part demonic dust bunny. The novelties, as well as the matching clutches, were an instant hit, so it’s no surprise that for Resort ’14, Fendi has kept up the monster mash. Lagerfeld and Fendi showed a whole new batch of kooky, geometric avian creatures on clutches, top-handle bags, and yet more fobs. A twist on the label’s Peekaboo bag—whose slouch reveals a pair of slanted, diabolical eyes above a zippered pouch (mouth?)—epitomizes the duo’s fun, freaky focus.
The Fendi Baguette birthday celebrations aren’t ending anytime soon. As part of the label’s 15th anniversary festivities for the iconic bag, Fendi opens its online pop-up shop today, making the Baguette available for the first time on its e-commerce boutique at Fendi.com. (It’ll be there through January 2013.) Visitors to the pop-up can find everything from the new Geometrica Baguette (a white and blue striped bag created for the pop-up, only 100 total available) to foulards with Karl Lagerfeld’s Baguette sketches to the Baguette needlepoint embroidery kit (a.k.a. a create-your-own Baguette kit). As part of today’s pop launch, artist Maurizio Anzeri created a one-of-a-kind Baguette for the Fendi archives and an accompanying portrait of Silvia Venturini Fendi, called The Art of Embroidery, which makes its exclusive debut here on Style.com.
When one door closes, another one opens. Filmmaker Mel Bles applied that old adage quite literally to her new short movie for Fendi, titled Arrival, reflecting the optimism of Silvia Venturini Fendi’s latest menswear collection. In a lab-like setting, a door opens and a male model (clad in Fendi Spring 2013, which makes its runway debut tonight) walks out and then disappears from the frame just as quickly. According to the label, “The video materializes the dichotomy of the collection, its futurism: the point of arrival, here, is also the point of departure.” Style.com has an exclusive first look at the collection and the film.
Each July, fashion—the made-in-Italy kind, at least—moves south to Rome. The destination? Altaroma fashion week, Italy’s answer to haute couture, where acting President Silvia Venturini Fendi and Vogue Italia‘s Franca Sozzani pick the womenswear winners of Italy’s annual Who is On Next young designer competition. (The men’s half of Who’s Next was held last month at Pitti in Florence.)
The prestigious international jury, including Suzy Menkes, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Terron Schaefer and Harvey Nichols’ Averyl Oates, spent last Saturday in a sizzling-hot Rome reviewing the work of seven ready-to-wear labels and four accessories lines for the seventh edition of the prize, which rewards winners with a feature shoot by one of Vogue Italia‘s photographers and a fashion-show slot during Milan fashion week in late September. (Yoox.com, Mercedes-Benz, and Alcantara offered their own supplemental prize.)
Angelos Bratis (left), a Greek designer producing his collection in Italy, won first prize for his sleek, bias scarf-cut pieces inset with stars, while second prize went to Stella Jean, a Caribbean-Italian designer born in Rome, who created Euro-African mix of crisp pinstripe shirts and wax prints in modernized fifties hourglass shapes. Alessio Spinelli, whose eponymous shoe collection debuted in Rome this year, won the accessories prize for the innovative details of his Neon, collection like stiletto sandals with glow-in-the-dark-edged soles, or interchangeable shocking satin laces. Marta Ferri, who did a bright, floral-filled remix of fifties glamour, received the jury’s special mention.
“It’s really amazing to participate in a competition like this,” said Bratis, who spoke during a private evening tour of the Vatican with the jury and journalists assembled for the prize, a rare treat negotiated by Silvia Fendi using all her intra-Roman connections. “All of a sudden you’re in a room with some of the people who you have always dreamed of showing your collection to. So there’s 15 minutes to explain what you’re doing. And then you realize that they understand everything and that an explanation really isn’t necessary.”