Kim Jones is big on references. The creative director for Fendi’s womenswear draws on an eclectic mix of literary, cinematic, and artistic idols when crafting his collections. For his couture debut for the Italian house last September, he cited the much-lauded Bloomsbury group—Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West et al.—as inspiration. For his second couture outing, presented in Rome this afternoon, he referenced the Italian filmmaker, writer, and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Pasolini’s writing captured “Ancient Rome, medieval Rome, and modern Rome at the same time,” Jones told WWD before the collection’s unveiling. It’s a seamless melding he hopes to capture in his own creations for the house of Fendi, where he was installed as creative director in 2020. “You look at the past, then you also bring in techniques from the present.” In this sense, it represented a shift from Jones’ first collection, which aimed to bring his own British background into the fold of a storied Italian house. This round, it was an unadulterated love letter to Italy, showcased in a short film by Luca Guadagnino.
Jones tapped a cacophony of iconic veteran supermodels to unveil the collection, including European stalwarts Paulina Porizkova and Małgosia Bela, through to Christy Turlington Burns, Amber Valletta, and long-time Jones’ muse Kate Moss. Moss’ daughter, Lila Moss, made up the new cohort of megamodels, joining Adut Akech, Vittoria Ceretti, and Rianne van Rompaey in a rose-tinted set made to look like Fendi’s headquarters in the Palazzo della Civiltà in Rome.
Rome proved its own kind of muse for this collection—mini-Peekaboo bags were embellished with hand-applied mosaics, while models teetered on wedged sandals with heels made to resemble the arches of Roman Palazzos. Sumptuous eveningwear—silk and organza gowns with printed motifs mirroring the streets and skies of Rome, worn with opera gloves—was a clear priority for Jones. He designed the collection for optimistic couture customers looking to return to their fabulous, pre-pandemic lives in the most glamorous way possible. These women “go to Fendi for something extravagant,” Jones said. Consider that brief well and truly nailed.