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Kim Jones Makes His Ready-to-Wear Debut at Fendi

The clothes are beautiful, but the show disappointed in one major way.

Just under a month ago, designer Kim Jones made his debut as creative director of Fendi with an haute couture collection which paid tribute to the Bloomsbury Set. But fashion moves fast, and on Wednesday, Jones presented his first ready-to-wear collection for the Italian brand. 

For Fall 2021, Jones looked to the five Fendi sisters for inspiration, drawing from their wardrobes for a collection packed with deceptively simple basics. By keeping the color palette limited to neutrals — tawny and chocolatey browns, creamy whites and beiges, dove greys and olive greens, sophisticated blacks — he was able to really show off what he can bring to womenswear from his background in menswear. "Fun isn't always just about bright colors," he wrote in the show notes. "It can be about really luxurious self indulgence, which pleases the person wearing it more than anyone else."

The tailoring is very strong here, as is the outerwear; slightly oversized bomber jackets are sure to move fast when the collection hits stores. Jones's proposition for knits and shirting, which involves sliding off one shoulder and knotting at the bust, might be a harder sell for the non-model types. A kind of fluffy, car wash fringe brings to mind foxtails — Fendi is company known for its fur, after all — but also styles Daniel Lee has most recently popularized through his work at Bottega Veneta.

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Unsurprisingly, Jones drew from the inescapable legacy of Karl Lagerfeld, using the "Karligraphy" monogram as accents on tights and silk dresses. He also pulled in a continuation of themes from his couture debut, seen in the embellishment on slip dresses or wrap detailing on an off-the-shoulder dress.

It was a disappointment — not to mention, a huge step backwards — to see no plus-size representation on Jones's runway after a few seasons under Silvia Venturini Fendi featuring models like Ashley Graham, Jill Kortleve and Paloma Elsesser. As his peers in the space continue to embrace a more inclusive vision of what fashion can be, Jones would do well to build upon that legacy of his latest predecessor, too. Here's hoping he catches up next season.

See the complete Fendi Fall 2021 collection in the gallery below:

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