5 things to know about the Fendi haute couture autumn/winter ‘19/’20 show

Home / 5 things to know about the Fendi haute couture autumn/winter ‘19/’20 show


5th Jul 2019

To conclude the end of haute couture fashion week and usher the dawn of a new era in the legacy of the storied Italian brand, creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi (who has helmed the house since Karl Lagerfeld’s passing) presented her haute couture autumn/winter ‘19/’20 collection in her native Rome.

And, to celebrate her homecoming and pay homage to the Italian capital, the stage was set atop a hill facing none other than the Colosseum — the incredible icon of the ancient city — that played host to this year’s show.

Founded in 1925 in the same city, Fendi’s headquarters proved the ultimate setting for the collection, which featured rich earthy tones, beautiful tailoring and flowing dresses that skimmed the floor in gentle movements.

A well-rounded, diverse cast — featuring haute couture fashion week standout stars Rebecca Longendyke, Giselle Norman and Naomi Chin Wing — significantly enhanced the clothing, with make-up executed by Fendi regulars Peter Phillips (who also helms Christian Dior make-up) and hair by Sam McKnight. 

A total of 54 looks walked the show. Read on for five key takeaways.

Being that Fendi’s legacy was born in Rome, it’s only logical that the Italian giant would have access to the most spectacular settings to stage its shows. This season, Venturini Fendi elected to present her haute couture collection at none other than the Colosseum —the amphitheater built of travertine, tuff and concrete that dates back to 70-80 AD, when it was built.  One only has to remember Fendi’s haute couture autumn/winter ’16/’17 show, staged at Rome’s Trevi Fountain, to understand the house’s close relationship with Italy and the mutual inspiration that emanates from the city’s architecture and fashion houses. 

Hair expert Sam McKnight — whose talented hands have tended to the tresses of Princess Diana — presided over the model’s hairstyles for the evening, pairing the collection with a series of ’70s pageboy-style wigs in a spectrum of colours. While Kaia Gerber sported a memorable pastel pink version, other models accented the colours of the clothing with ice blue, chocolate brown and platinum blonde iterations that worked cleverly to emphasise Venturini Fendi’s chosen palette for the season.


In contrast to the bold swathes of colour exhibited this week at Valentino or the predominantly black collection of Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior, Venturini Fendi utilised marble unexpectedly, featuring this print heavily in the collection. Beautiful marble motifs were carried through all silhouettes, textures and materials — from undergarments to fur jackets, transparent pants and blouses — inviting us to experiment freely with this print and try it on for size irrespective of the season.

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As if the backdrop for the show did not provide ode enough to Rome’s historical origins, ideas of old and new were played upon in the show’s casting, which returned supermodels of seasons past to the fore. Freja Beha Erichsen, Natasha Poly, Saskia de Brauw and Guinevere van Seenus made a triumphant return to the runway, with Victoria’s Secret models Candice Swanepoel and Liu Wen following closely behind. And, in a turn towards the future, up-and-coming supers Kaia Gerber and Adut Akech also walked for the show, pointing us to the next generation of millennial models.


Taking cues from the show’s casting, Fendi’s inclusivity was extended to its guest list, which included up-and-coming young actresses Zoey Deutch and Kiernan Shipka — indicative of the Italian house’s desire to bring new talents into fashion’s fold — as well as seasoned veterans Susan Sarandon and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

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