Fendi’s FW22 couture show kicked off with a trio of looks that appeared subtle, minimalist, and uncomplicated, but only at first glance. The well-trained eye very quickly recognised that even though those trouser suits and sweater dresses eschewed fussy frills for a clean, tailored silhouette, their natural, golden-ochre hue could only mean they were made of prized Vicuña, the world’s most expensive wool. Likewise, that Fendi high jewellery necklace worn with the opening look appears uncomplicated, with swishy diamond fringes and an inverted FF monogram, but the truth could not be any further.
Representing the maison’s first foray into the high jewellery space, this necklace embodies the timeless codes of Fendi as well as the modern vision of the creative forces driving it today. Because, really, who could be a more suitable choice to direct its high jewellery collections than fourth generation member of Fendi’s founding family and established jewellery designer in her own right, Delfina Delettrez Fendi? Coming back to the business in 2021 as its artistic director of jewellery, Delettrez Fendi brings a new wave of excitement to the Italian fashion house, joining her mother Silvia Venturini Fendi and Fendi artistic director Kim Jones in shaping the vision of the Fendi woman.
“I started working on this parure which marks Fendi’s debut in high jewellery one year ago, and looked into the harmony of themes, materials, and colours,” she relates. “A big challenge was finding the stones with the right intensity of colour and the right shape for an emerald cut.”
Named Flavus, the high jewellery necklace is the star of a parure which includes a pair of earrings and a ring, and all unique pieces and deeply evocative of the maison. Delettrez Fendi continues, “Flavus is the ancient Roman term for yellow, and it represents the Roman roots of the Fendi universe, bringing together past, present, and future.”
From the outset she embarked on a search for exceptional yellow diamonds that would allow her to perfectly capture the Fendi spirit. Not just through the inverted FF monogram, which was designed by Karl Lagerfeld in 1965, but also express her own vision of Fendi high jewellery. “I spent almost a year looking for [yellow diamonds] with a subtle orange cast to emanate the colour of the Roman sunset,” she reveals. “Two elements seemed significant to me to unveil this new story: the diamonds and the yellow. There is nothing more evocative than the diamond, and there is nothing more meaningful at Fendi than the yellow.”
With these sunset-hued stones, Delettrez Fendi paid a modern tribute to the maison but not before imbuing the pieces with her own brand of subversive classicism which blends Roman savoir-faire with a playfulness expressed through dancing gemstones. “Fendi is full of contrasts,” says Delettrez Fendi. “I like the classics to be mixed with some other kind of material. I like materials and shapes that have a strong attitude.”
White and yellow stones cascade from a diamond rivière in a mix of round and baguette solitaires, evoking a spectacular play of colour and light enhanced by the combination of white and yellow gold. The necklace alone comprises over 1,000 stones including one fancy vivid yellow emerald-cut yellow diamond at its heart. Meticulously set, the yellow diamonds appear to be suspended above the white diamonds while remaining perfectly aligned.
Offering a hint of more novelties ahead, she adds, “I can experiment a lot with fashion jewellery and now I also have the honour to do so with high jewellery, as what we have done with Fendi Flavus.”