Karl Lagerfeld's animal magnetism: defiant designer goes big on fur

Fendi revels in mink and fox


Karl Lagerfeld, the most outspoken man in fashion, issued a statement of intent at his Fendi show in Milan: “Fendi is fur! Fur is Fendi!”

The call to arms, in an inflammatory illustration left on seats either side of an impressively long catwalk, left the audience in no doubt about what to expect. Mink and fox in a palette of natural tones – with highlights of electric blue, pink and orange – appeared on outerwear and separates, the arms of sunglasses, shoes with sculpted heels and even bags.

Although fur remains contentious – with designers such as Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney refusing to use it – it is a luxurious tradition for many of Italy's most opulent labels. And Fendi, part of the LVMH stable, which saw profits rise 19 per cent to €28.1bn (£24bn) in 2012, has a vast client base among the super-rich of Russia and emerging markets for whom fur poses no ethical problem.

At the shows we have seen a continuation, which can be taken as confirmation, of the trends that emerged from the New York and London collections. Highlights of orange and midnight; cape backs and sleeves; a focus on structured shoulders (be they soft and rounded or more pointed pagodas); latex, rubber and patent leather; and feather-like ruffles, frills and fringing have all been further ticked off the lists of the assembled editors and buyers. But, as is often the case, Miuccia Prada's vision of a woman interrupted the staccato rhythm. The coats – cut from luxuriously thick wool and belted – with exaggerated, voluminous folds on the cuffs brought us a point of focus so far not seen. A sombre palette of grey, black and brown was shot through with classically awkward Prada colours such as tomato red and mustard yellow. Ribbed panels in contrast colours were used to rein in the waists of jackets, powder blue gingham re-appeared and was twinned by a pink version, while the setting featured projections of shadowy views.

The collection was Mrs Prada's vision of "raw elegance", communicated through heavy black on black beaded embellishment which was draped and paneled to create a stepped, assymetric hemline on full skirts.

There was a sexiness to the clothes too – thanks to chain-link beading echoing that projected on the walls – snaking down slinky black dresses, leather separates and that womanly silhouette. But by veering more towards the déshabillé, Prada's ideal is clearly of a more romantic variety. "Generally, the feeling is it is old-fashioned to look romantic," said Prada, once again proving that there are rewards for those who seek to go against the grain.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk / Trainee Application Support Analyst - Hampshire

    £25000 per annum + pension, 25 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable...

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst / Trainee Application Support Analyst - Essex

    £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Hertfordshire -Large Established Business

    £22000 - £28000 per annum + study support, gym: Ashdown Group: A large busines...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - Infrastructure / VMWare - Hertfordshire

    £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established industry leading business is l...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before