The surprise catwalk show and previously unofficial event announced last minute at MFW turned out to be a swapping of roles between Versace and Fendi’s creatives and long-time friends, Donatella Versace and Kim Jones.
The intimate experience Versace alluded to on its Instagram was a starry discoball lit runway come to light and life the moment 56 year-old supermodel Kristen McMenamy dressed in the first look of Versace by Kim Jones. Both runways were walked by a bevvy of supermodels who all have - or had - well-established links to both houses.
The collaboration, cleverly executed in two parts, sees each designer ‘hack’ the other’s luxury house. At Versace x Fendi, Jones brought out the gold from the company’s vaults, making shirts, sliders and accessories shine with newness. Bedazzled bomber jackets, chunky neckwear and a wideleg pant suit in ton sur ton pale pink prints were the heroes of the collection.
Closing the show was a double exit of Kate Moss in a little black dress and floor-length medusa-print coat walking alongside Amber Valetta in white bodycon and bomber in the house’s iconic print. It was as high 90s as it was commercially astute.
At Fendi x Versace, logo-ed trench coats, tailoring and accessories were given the Versace codes. Models sporting long blond hair where an ode to Donatella, who gave Fendi’s denim a makeover, lowering the waist, adding a large double F buckle and pink fake fur to line a matching jacket.
It wasn’t all sporty and stoppable separates, there was sensuous tailoring too: a black crepe dress with an asymmetric hem worn by Ania Rubik was elegant and feather light. A one-shoulder gown with contrast waist was cut from Versace’s famous black and gold printed silk but executed the Fendi way.
Closing the show was Naomi Campbell in a sparkly pink sheath. If it wasn’t for the Fendi logo it could coolly be mistaken for Versace, and that was perhaps the point.
In the show notes the brands were eager to stress it was not a collaboration but two iconic collections that celebrate the friendship of both creatives and the cultural impact of Fendi and Versace.