What have you been up to over the last 14 weeks of this locked-down world? Maybe you finally perfected that sourdough starter or made good on a January resolution or two—but Kim Jones has had bigger fish to fry. The British designer stepped into the massive shoes left empty since the passing of Karl Lagerfeld when he began his tenure as Fendi’s artistic director less than four months ago. Today, the 41-year-old proved why he’s one of the most revered talents of his generation, cementing his status with not only his womenswear debut, but a couture one at that.
Jones sought inspiration from the Bloomsbury set and Virginia Woolf’s 1992 time-traveling, binary-blurring novel Orlando. Which makes sense, seeing as that infamous clique often straddled England and Rome, and Jones’ own upbringing spans multiple locations, including his family home located near Woolf’s former address. Jones has several first editions of the aforementioned novel—he says it has inspired him since childhood—all of which were on display alongside a vintage book exhibit.
The Bloomsbury Group was all about strong, independent, and intellectual women who paved their own way. Undoubtedly, they’re the traits that Jones sees in his on-call pals too, whom he enlisted today for the highly-anticipated debut. Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell walked the glass box-lined, maze-style runway in the Palais Brongniart, the former French stock exchange. Ever the supporters, they brought their A game to the catwalk, just as they did when they linked arms with Jones in their monogrammed trench coats for his Louis Vuitton menswear swan song in 2018. Bella Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Adwoa Aboah, and Demi Moore rounded out the star-studded casting, as did Moss’ daughter Lila, and Christy Turlington and her nephew James. A family affair, if you will, as the granddaughter of the founder of the house was in their midst too.
Models wore couture pieces that Jones created inspired by motifs discovered at Charleston farmhouse (the Sussex home of the Bloomsbury set): ornately-beaded boots, hand-painted heels, painterly-prints influenced by frescoes by Woolf’s sister, Vanessa Bell, that hung on the walls of the home, plus fabrics such as intarsia fur and silk gowns that took on the appearance of marble. It was only fitting that details in homage to his predecessor would find their way into the collection too: a new design, ‘Karligraphy,’ which are monograms inspired by Lagerfeld’s final collection.
Overall, it was a multi-layered tribute to the way we are bound, like the pages of one of Jones’ beloved rare books, to our family, our friends, and those who inspire us.
See the full collection below: