Fendi celebrated the 25th birthday of its iconic Baguette bag with a star-studded celebration in New York.
A special collection by Silvia Venturini Fendi and Kim Jones as well as a collaboration with Marc Jacobs, Tiffany & Co, Sarah Jessica Parker and Porter was presented to a host of A-list celebrities and VIP Guests.
Attendees included Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kate Moss, Naomi Watts, Grace Jones, Lily Allen, Karlie Kloss and many more. The audience at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan was treated to a celebration of the iconic accessory with exclusive designs and a celebration of nineties style representing the year1997, the time Baguette was first introduced.
“It was a special day when I designed this bag; the stars aligned. The horoscope said it was a Fendi day.” Said Silvia Venturini Fendi, Artistic Director of Accessories and Menswear, Fendi.
The collections celebrated the iconic accessory by looking at the times through which it has lived and those who have been integral to its success. Sarah Jessica Parker for example, whose Sex And The City character Carrie Bradshaw famously said: “it’s not a bag, it’s a Baguette” of her on-screen hand luggage, was one of those who partnered with Fendi to create her own interpretation of the accessory. Sarah Jessica Parker’s take on the Baguette, which was designed in partnership with Silvia Venturini Fendi was embroidered in degradé sequins with a palette of purple, wasabi, baby pink or soft blue, the bags feature four interchangeable buckles to suit the wearer’s mood.
Meanwhile, collaborations with Tiffany & Co., Marc Jacobs and Japanese luggage brand Porter also pay tribute to the bag and New York; the city in which its place in pop culture history was sealed.
Throughout the collection, the Baguette is realised in a multiplicity of ways, both in terms of clothing and accessories, reflecting the maker as much as the iconic item, while never neglecting the enjoyment and sense of celebration for the wearer.
In this rough-cut romance between uptown and downtown, luxury and utility, excess and reality, the Baguette and the clothing and accessories it inspires are at once defined as a moment in history and part of a continuum with today.
The bag is presented in new out-of-the-box ways and worn in iterations that are both practical and stylish. For the FENDI designers, the utility of the bag becomes a multi-pocketed motif, migrating throughout the collection. The unmistakable Baguette dimensions made mini and micro pockets, appearing on parkas to gaiters, roving all over the body, covering gloves, hats, skirts, sweaters and, of course, the bag itself in one of its new iterations.
In contrast, a sense of hyper-luxe and glossy glamour pervades the collection. This comes in the form of silk satin, parka shaved mink and glossy leather. A stratification of sequins and biased cut silks are often layered beneath, adding a shimmer of art deco allure.
“I didn’t want to do a traditional ‘collection’ for the anniversary. Rather it’s a celebration of a time, of the moment the Baguette became famous. I relate that time to a sense of freedom in excess and fun – both qualities the Baguette possesses.” Said Kim Jones, Artistic Director of Womenswear, Fendi.
Marc Jacobs, who is a close friend of Kim Jones was invited to share his expression of this icon. He said: “I’ve got one word: Fendiroma. And it is one word! It is another land, this Fendiroma… And I’ve got two words: The Baguette. It’s a bag – and I am never one to shy away from an iconic bag.”
The designer pays tribute to the city of New York and its many contrasts, as well as the nineties period when the bag was first designed. Parachute train skirts, balloon-backed broken denim jackets, rustling cellophane opera capes and Fluro recycled fur stoles and hats are presented in classic updates of the iconic era.
The glitter of rhinestones, silver, and Fluro yellow pervades, becoming an almost literal example of ‘local colour’; inspired by the glass frontages and workman’s safety vests to be found on the city’s streets. Exaggerated, platformed and oversized, the take on the Baguette itself also shares something of these silhouettes’ grand gestures – elongated and gleaming, replete with multiple mini versions of itself attached.
Tiffany & Co. offers its own take on the Baguette as it reimagines it in its most precious of forms, through its use of sterling silver, enamel, Croco, white gold and diamonds. The T and the F complement each other in logo white gold fastenings, encrusted in diamonds while shining crocodile takes on the hue of Tiffany Blue. Perhaps the most impressive piece of all is an unprecedented Baguette made entirely of stippled sterling silver. Crafted by hand over a period of four months by the Tiffany artisans, the bag is engraved with lilies and roses – the national flower of Italy and New York State, respectively. It is also the first of Fendi’s ‘Hand in Hand’ partnerships to come from outside Italy and is a measure of Tiffany & Co’s superlative craftsmanship.
And finally, in partnership with Porter, the Baguette is given a decidedly masculine angle. Known for their hard-wearing bonded nylon, together with precision Japanese craftsmanship, here lightness and functionality are key. The Porter collection is also a proponent of one of the Baguette’s latest incarnations: the Bum Baguette.