New York Fashion Week is already a star-studded event, but it takes a certain extra degree of ‘special’ to get Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Moss, and Grace Jones seated on the same front row. This is the star pull of Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs, two industry wunderkinds who collaborated on last night’s brilliant ode to the Fendi Baguette bag. Celebrating the 25-year anniversary of the iconic handbag, Jones—the current artistic director of womenswear at Fendi—masterminded the idea of a New York-based runway event which he billed as “a love letter to New York”.
That love letter brought together three distinctly New York elements: Marc Jacobs (arguably the city’s most prolific fashion designer), Tiffany & Co., and the Fendi Baguette itself, which rose to mass pop culture prominence in the early 00s thanks to multiple cameos on Sex and the City (Sarah Jessica Parker was even asked to design her own iteration of the bag which appeared in the runway show). Jacobs was commissioned to create a “collection within a collection”, a capsule of accessories and ready-to-wear that tapped into his established devotion to logomania, while Tiffany & Co.—recently acquired by Fendi’s parent company, LVMH—created a collection of Baguette-shaped silver charms and, most impressively, a solid silver life-size Baguette.
The collection played with decidedly ’90s silhouettes, like sequin-embellished slip dresses styled with oversized wool knits, and mini skirts with cargo-style drawstrings. Sporty details, like zip-up anoraks with muffs fashioned into the shape of Baguette bags, and sleek satin tracksuits (like the fabulous blue jumpsuit worn by Bella Hadid) grounded the collection in youth and wearability. “I like the idea of taking jeans, jean jackets, sweaters, the way people really dress, and instead of saying it’s such a shame that’s what people look like, embracing what speaks to them and reforming it into something evocative of a period with more romance and magic,” explained Jacobs to WWD.
Perhaps the most touching moment came at the show’s end, when supermodel Linda Evangelista—now enjoying a much-deserved return to the fashion spotlight—closed the show in a dramatic cape gown in the distinct shade of Tiffany blue. She was joined by Jones, Jacobs, Silvia Venturini Fendi and Delfina Delettrez. Venturini Fendi remains a close collaborator and muse to Jones and continues to design the brand’s menswear collections, while his daughter, Delettrez, creates the jewellery for each womenswear collection. That final bow captured the collections’ sense of optimism and lightness—an antidote to the sad news about Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, which broke only an hour before the event. It was fashion at its eye-grabbing, smile-inducing, joy-making best.