My clever Whitney Houston song title reference aside, Fendi's fall 2010 collection was a lesson in what happens when a label's artistic director has entirely too much on his plate. I know many in the fashion world believe Karl Lagerfeld to be superhuman, but he's just a man who happens to be a great designer. Even this great designer, however, can suffer from mental overload. With three labels and countless collections to oversee in a year, his efforts for this Fendi outing fell flat. The looks were a tad depressing and bland and failed to live up to the more fashion-forward collections of the past. It seems this is Lagerfeld's answer to the global recession, but his namesake collection, which showed in Paris over the weekend, was incredibly chic and thought-provoking, not to mention flying in the face of financial uncertitude.
Beyond the disappointing clothes were the even more disheartening bags. The past couple of seasons treated Fendi fans to a slew of new designs, the most popular and successful being the Peek-A-Boo Bag. Many of us fell in love with this classic design and looked forward to newer, more exciting versions. Unfortunately, spring 2010 saw the introduction of a few new Peek-A-Boo bags that were a step backwards (the outed seams on the newer iterations were high on my list of unnecessary revisions). This fall provides very little in terms of the label's most attractive bag. Only a gorgeous lemon yellow leather Peek-A-Boo made me swoon. An odd, geometric-patterned patchwork Peek-A-Boo with a gag-inducing color palette made me want to scold that Fendi accessories design team. C'mon, guys! Is that the best you can do with such a fabulous design? Shame on you, and do better next time.
If you were waiting to see the controversial Skin Bags and their equally talked about overlays at this runway presentation, then you're out of luck. There wasn't one Skin Bag in the entire collection. They've either (a) decided to ditch the concept and the bags altogether or (b) there were just too many new styles to preview and runway space was too short and precious to devote to the design. I hope it's the latter that will win out because I'd like to see the "skin bag" concept developed even further. It's certainly an endeavor worthy of the "Kaiser".
So what about the new styles I just mentioned? Well, they were pretty boring. The square shoulder bags with metal-tipped corners made me want to yawn (which is great for my ear infection!). There were several bags with velvet, suede or feather accents as well as a heavy use of ostrich, but even the new front-pocket satchels and front flap shoulder bags seemed entirely played out. To further impress us (I say in a facetious tone), Fendi shoved their new personalization services down our throats with a copious display of initial-bearing tags. Whatever. I was bored. I'm still bored. I'll have to sit and wait another 6 months in the hopes that Lagerfeld takes a vacation or gets some rest. Maybe then we'll get a bag collection that's more than just OK.
Photo source: nymag.com
Photo source: nymag.com