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Fendi's Romantic Futurism
Milan - The cool late afternoon light of Northern Europe, the high tech fabrics of modern sports, the world's best fur atelier and a large dose of design genius combined to create a truly great Fendi spring 2009 collection, unfurled to gasps and a certain breathless acclaim in Milan on Thursday, Sept. 25.

A good score of designers have been tapping into futurism in the current international fashion season - sadly, too many of them reheating silhouettes and images from the Eighties - but not at Fendi where Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Fendi dovetailed to produce what proved to be the most elegant selection of clothes so far seen in New York, London or Milan.

"It's all about lightness, levity," explained Silvia, pointing out the bell shaped, even bulbous, yet subtly cut petticoats in the sort of nylon filigree one usually encounters in running shoes, or the courtly Cardinal soutaines with laser cut squares and portholes.

"We were trying to square the circle," cracked Lagerfeld backstage.

Arched shoulders, hips and sleeves added to the airily romantic mood of a collection that featured remarkable techno tulle tunics with mink extrusions, floating leather lace and, even, transparent fur.

Worn with hidden stiletto platforms with see through inserts and a great series of left-open clutches, this was a great fashion moment. And if the high-tech structures were a tad stiff, the remarkable finale of three fabric roses covered cocktails and gowns had enormous style.