This post has been a long time in the making and features my favourite collection of 2014: the Fendi Spring/Summer Ready-to-Wear collection, designed by Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld with Silvia Venturini Fendi. The fashion show was opened by Cara Delevingne, one of my favourite models.
The collection was inspired by 'the world of informatics', incorporating circuit board inspired patterns, bold structural shapes and lazer-cut, geometric designs.
Fur (a key composite of Fendi's design house) was used in an unusual way, being cut down to thin, light shapes which were attached to sheer nylon organza backing fabrics. You can see the effect in the tops of the third and fourth designs above, and all throughout the collection. The result was lightweight, breathable garments which enabled fur, a traditionally winter material, to be worn in Spring and Summer.
Organza was another key inspiration, being one of Lagerfelds favourite fabrics. It lends itself well to lazer-cutting, and the juxtaposition between the soft, flowing fabric and sharp angular shapes used was fantastic! (See these designs in the full collection, linked below).
The first and fifth sketches above are made from organza and specialised seams and shaping techniques have enabled the fabric to have strong form and its own distinctive structure, uninhibited by the shape of the wearer's body.
Shoes and accessories featured a mixed use of fur, leather (including crocodile skin), metal and plastic. A combination of historic and contemporary materials which echoes the theme of the collection as a whole.
In my sketches I've stuck to a red, white and coral palette for continuity and aesthetic purposes, though black, grey, and cobalt blue also featured strongly in the collection.
Here are the individual illustrations and their corresponding runway shots:
This first design features a structural organza dress with a geometric/floral hybrid pattern. It is worn by model Marina Nery.
I was drawn to this second look by the classic bold red, and by the techniques required to make such a structural garment. It was worn by Xiao Wen Ju.
This is my favourite look from the collection, and what inspired this series of illustrations. The lazer-cut fur and organza top, the sparkling structural skirt and statement fur accessories create the perfect combination of colours and textures. I've drawn this outfit three times this year, and will probably draw it again... nearly a year after I first saw it and I'm still in love! It was worn by Josephine Le Tutour.
This design, worn by Nadja Bender, is made fully from organza and fur, and demonstrates Karl Lagerfeld's immense skill and creativity. The ribbed texture achieved in the skirt with strips of fur is just fantastic, something really unusual.
This final look shows the computer/circuit board inspiration that ran throughout the collection. The strong geometric lines, angular, boxy shapes and bright white palette of the design are contemporary and stylish, while the sheer organza top adds a feminine and softening touch. The look as a whole exudes modernity through its simplicity, fabrics and form. Worn by Kayley Chabot.
These were my picks of the collection, though there are many more I love. You can see the full collection on style.com and can watch the show on Fendi.com. There is such an amazing collection of incredible design, beautiful fabrics, colours and patterns, and an intriguing mix of classic, historic and contemporary elements.