#SuzyMFW: Fendi – Tudor Rose
Not since Princess Diana's wedding gown with its full, fat sleeves - or maybe earlier still with Henry VIII and his puffy pantaloons - has volume seemed so big in fashion.
The Fendi show in Milan was an ode to the Tudor rose, from the intricately smocked milkmaid blouses to the same effect given a twenty-first-century allure as a short black leather dress. The pinafore bodice was innocent-looking enough, though there was flesh visible through open squares at the sides.
Then there were thigh-high bloomers which, worn with the puffed-sleeve tops, looked surprisingly refreshing.
And the flat flowers, like symbols of the fifteenth-century War of the Roses - they decorated shoe fronts and the bags that the brand's creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi showed proudly backstage.
"Useful, light and functional," said Silvia, referring to the sturdy effect of leather blanket stitches framing abstract flowers at the bag's front.
Compared to Karl Lagerfeld's recent Fendi collections, which featured romantic flowers or architectural shapes, this one seemed to be coming more from heads and hands and less from the heart.
Yet ever the pro, the designer played nonchalantly with high and low hemlines, and the full-bodied tops and short shapes. Everything seemed convincing.
"It's about a change of proportion - another way to do long (hemlines) on curvy lines," said Karl, describing precisely the puffy graphic elements.
I just found it a little mechanical: blood red to go with the roses, followed by cream and green moving through blue to black.
But even a collection from Lagerfeld that lacks the Wow Factor still carries a competence that is compelling.