Cara, Bella, Kate, Naomi: Kim Jones’ debut couture show was a breathtakingly star-studded affair.
Son to a hydrogeologist, Kim Jones grew up something of a globetrotter: travelling from Sussex to Ecuador, to Africa and the Caribbean, it’s safe to say that this nomad has a rich collection of cultural souvenirs to draw upon. And yet, for his Fendi couture debut, the British fashion designer landed just down the road from where he grew up – in Charleston Farmhouse, to be specific, the Sussex home of the pioneering Bloomsbury group.
“I like how this family of people – and particularly these two pioneering sisters – moved things forward,” Jones explained. “I admire the way that they lived their lives, the freedom that they created for themselves and the art that they left behind for the world.”
Inspired by the literary set, his deeply personal haute couture collection was drenched in references to their communal house. Charleston’s ornate furnishings and frescoes – which Jones spent afternoons sketching as a child – were reimagined as embroidered embellishments on laced gowns. Marrying the British romance of the Bloomsbury set with the Italian grandeur of the house, he draped elegant pearls and glitzy crystals on top of silk fabrics, bardot necklines and capelet sleeves.
Who did Jones invite to celebrate the career-defining moment with him? Gliding across the runway in the beaded and shimmering collection came some of the modelling world’s brightest stars. Iconic ’90s supermodels Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington walked amongst industry “It Girls” Bella Hadid, Adwoa Aboah and Cara Delevingne. But the British designer didn’t stop there – he was also determined to make this a family affair. Moss was joined by her daughter Lila Grace, Aboah, her sister Kesewa, and Turlington, her nephew James.
“Fendi represents artisanal quality of the highest order, and it is all about family,” Jones reflects. “It is in its third generation with a Fendi at its helm, and I am guest starring while bringing in the fourth.”
The Fendi Family walked down a glass-walled, dystopian-like maze on the day. Each model effortlessly navigated a grid of interlocking Fs, before taking their place inside an individual glass cubicle – was this Virginia Woolf’s ‘Room of One’s Own’, or perhaps an elegant take on the Covid-‘bubble’? Knowing Jones’ love for time-travelling motifs, it was probably both.