Luxury label Fendi paid tribute to its former creative director Karl Lagerfeld on Thursday evening with a spectacular fashion show set amid the crumbling ruins of ancient Rome.
The Italian brand sent 54 new couture looks down the runway at the ancient Temple of Venus and Roma — one for each year the late designer worked at the fashion house.
Three looks from the collection. Credit: Courtesy Fendi
The show also marked the beginning of an ambitious project to restore the ancient structure, built by Emperor Hadrian almost 2,000 years ago. Fendi’s parent company LVMH has pledged 2.5 million euros ($2.8 million).
The brand’s current creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi, the granddaughter of founders Adele and Edoardo Fendi, stepped out to an applause at the end of the show. Her Fall/Winter 2019-2020 collection, officially titled “The Dawn of Romanity,” was the first in the fashion house’s post-Lagerfeld era.
Designer Silvia Venturini Fendi Credit: Courtesy Fendi
Venturini Fendi was a close friend and collaborator of Lagerfeld’s throughout his tenure. She joined the family business in 1994 and has spent most of her time working as the brand’s creative director of accessories and menswear. She’s credited for the iconic design of Fendi’s “Baguette” bag.
Model Winnie Harlow attended the show as a guest. Credit: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images for Fendi
Anna Wintour, Susan Sarandon, Winnie Harlow and Catherine Zeta-Jones were among approximately 600 people in attendance. Guests were treated to a live performance by Italian composer Caterina Barbieri, as well as an open-air private dinner at the historic site. Rome’s famous Coliseum, just short distance away, served as a stunning backdrop for many of the evening’s photos.
Fendi’s CEO Serge Brunschwig took to the stage to honor Lagerfeld, who joined Fendi in 1965, saying he had spoken to the legendary designer before his death about hosting a show at the temple.
Zoey Deutch, Catherine Zeta Jones, Susan Sarandon, Carys Zeta Douglas, Kiernan Shipka and Lilakoi Moon attend the Cocktail at Fendi Couture Fall Winter 2019/2020 on July 04, 2019 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Fendi) Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Fendi