Lights, camera, Baguettes!
If the circa-1997 “It” bag wasn’t back in fashion already, it’s going to be now, thanks to Fendi artistic director Kim Jones’ branding genius.
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He pulled down the curtain and pulled out all the stops on Friday night in front of a packed Hammerstein Ballroom, with Carrie Bradshaw herself, Sarah Jessica Parker, sitting next to Kim Kardashian, just feet away from ’90s supe Kate Moss, cheering on mini-me Lily Grace Moss-Hack opening the runway show.
Parker put the accessory on the map in “Sex and the City,” in an episode where she uttered the now-famous line “this isn’t a bag, it’s a baguette.”
In Jones’ hands, it isn’t just a bag, it’s a collection of ‘90s-reminiscent streetwear. Vivid hued boiler suits, fleece vests, sweatshirts, bucket hats, beanies, gators, socks, clogs and more were tricked out with baguette-inspired cargo pockets and Fendi “FF” logos. No doubt it will all be gobbled up at retail when it goes on sale next month, even if the tulle overlay tailoring, sequined slips and bias-cut dresses (Precious Lee’s, for one) could have been executed with more polished precision.
New versions of the actual bag came in Tiffany Blue, Swarovski crystal-covered, or in hand-molded sterling silver; made over into bum bags, backpacks or nano cuties swinging from belt loops.
The one-off collection follows the tie-up trend that has spawned Gucci x Adidas and Burberry x Supreme, to name just two. But Fendi kept it all in the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton family by tapping Marc Jacobs, whose ‘90s downtown New York rebel spirit was obviously on Jones’ mind, even if it was cloaked somewhat in au courant commercialism. (To that end, the Fendi Baguette collection runway show was already rolling on an enormous video billboard in Herald Square when guests exited.)
But logomania didn’t start with today’s mega-luxury brands. While he may be in a quieter moment in his career now, Jacobs helped usher in the era of collaboration fever at Louis Vuitton, only with artists like Richard Prince, Stephen Sprouse and Yayoi Kusama, rather than with another fashion brand.
Still, one couldn’t help but look at Jacobs’ designs wistfully, for having so much imagination — the fanciful feather-trimmed hats and trailing scarves, jeans deconstructed and reconstructed into romantic maxi skirts, a humble nylon track suit turned into a fishtail dress with sleeves wrapped around the waist like a bustle, and the Fendi logo clear plastic poncho as haute cape.
“It’s nice to squint and see what’s in front of you in a more magical way. When I look at it, I see a romantic vision of what street clothes look like,” Jacobs said during a preview.
On the runway at least, it was spectacular.
Launch Gallery: Fendi RTW Spring 2023
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