February 20, 2015
High Fashion and Spectacle at New Fendi Store
The new Fendi flagship store opened last week, and it was a very vibrant opening to a couple of weeks of fashion in New York City. The creative force behind Fendi was on hand to greet all comers (by invitation only) to the party, and he was tireless in his pleasant demeanor and friendly comments.
I had the great pleasure of interviewing Karl Lagerfeld several years ago in Paris in the Chanel atelier, where he is also director of design. This white-haired wizard is perhaps the most successful living designer, and certainly one of the most professional and most talented and hardest working. Everyone seemed to be there to welcome the new store and the great Karl: Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Silvia Venturini Fendi busily chatted with guests.
The press was out in large numbers, everywhere looking for the perfect photo and the most interesting soundbites. I was asked countless questions—the oddest, what should one not put in a Fendi Baguette Bag. My answer, a baguette, of course. The reporter didn’t quite get it. Do you?
1 Last Friday evening, Fendi inaugurated its new flagship store on Madison Avenue and 57th Street. Karl Lagerfeld, depicted here in caricature, was the host of the evening and the celebrated guest of honor. He is the creative director of Fendi, an Italian fashion house.
2 I was fortunate enough to get Mr. Lagerfeld's attention and pose with him for a photo with his charming godson. Karl was dressed as he usually is, in black, with leather gloves, white pony tail and dark glasses. I wore my first Fendi coat—purchased 16 years ago—a double-faced cashmere with chinchilla collar and cuffs.
3 The crowds were very intense—everyone was trying to get close to Karl. He maintained a calm, collected demeanor, obviously safe with his guards and friends surrounding him.
4 Here you can see the press of the crowd—it was very crowded, but very polite and friendly.
5 The store was as festive as the crowd. Everywhere one looked was a colorful, luxe object—bright colors abounded, as did fur, fur, fur. This vibrant snakeskin bag was adorned with dyed fur.
6 Peter Marino designed the store and every surface was carefully crafted as a perfect backdrop for the merchandise.
7 I loved the new Fendi shoes.
8 All of the Fendi handbags were unusual and complex in their use of fabrics, logos and decoration.
9 Clever lighting and wonderful shelving made the displays very interesting.
10 One inset wall was upholstered in a patchwork of fabric and colored furs, held in place by thousands of straight pins.
11 More of the patchwork wall.
12 Kevin could not resist taking this photo of me in front of the illuminated patchwork.
13 This very handsome man is the director of Fendi Casa home store on Madison Avenue and 30th Street.
14 From the second floor, looking down, it was not obvious that a very big party was in progress.
15 The furniture and decorations were luxurious and interesting—I loved these chairs and the fabric seats.
16 This sheepskin bench had brass legs and looked like a perfect seat.
17 The dresses were as complex as the handbags in coloration and fabric combinations.
18 Lagerfeld was born in 1933 (or 1938), according to Wikipedia—I cannot believe he is 82 years old. I prefer to think of him as much younger. He is still designing numerous collections a year for Chanel, Fendi, and his own label.
19 The crowd at the party was very glamorous—and very, very well dressed.
20 The furs were especially amazing—beautifully designed and wonderfully constructed, in many colors.
21 And always a bit of humor.
22 This outfit was really interesting. It was very hard to see any bottoms to the top—the girl had great legs.
23 Fluffy fur, with beautifully complicated construction.
24 The same coat in three colors.
25 Kevin and I loved this jacket.
26 Bright orange and yellow—bejeweled and bedazzled furs.
27 A rather unusual poncho of fur.