Kim Jones debuts with Bloomsbury in La Bourse
Fashionistas love nothing more than a debut; and the biggest this season at an established luxury fashion house was the inauguration of Kim Jones at Fendi.
Despite this being a Roman brand noted for its furs, Jones chose to stage his first ever show for Fendi, and first ever collection in womenswear, in Paris during the French haute couture season.
Before no live audience, since the Prefecture de la Police of Paris had banned all public gatherings, forcing the entire season of some 25 brands to present their collections online.
Jones unveiled his starter inside the Palais Brongniart, the former stock exchange of Paris better known as La Bourse, behind firmly closed doors of this neo-classical temple supported by giant Corinthian columns. Fendi may have been born in the sunny streets of Rome, but this debut happened on a dank January in Paris.
Instead of anything terribly Italian, Jones themed the collection around the literary Bloomsbury Group, whose most famous member Virginia Woolf once lived in a cottage near Rodmell in Sussex, where Kim recently bought a country vacation home.
The collection marked a big leap for Jones, who has been one of the half dozen most influential designers in menswear this past decade in Paris – with seven years at Louis Vuitton and three years at Dior Men, a job he will continue to hold down while commuting back and forth to Rome. Moreover, he joins Fendi not even two years after the passing of possibly the world’s most famous single designer Karl Lagerfeld, who was creative director of Fendi for 54 years.
Pre-show, an exclusive feature granted to British Vogue showed Kate Moss in Vanessa Bell’s hat and just a pair of silk boots embroidered with Murano glass. In Paris, the British designer was keen to get his first couture punch in early, and last week plastered bus stops and magazine kiosks throughout the city centre with posters of his first looks.
A fine first effort by Jones at Fendi, but not far from the high-spirited romp that made Orlando such an enormous success, and such a much-loved novel.