Fendi’s Spring/Summer 2021 couture collection, entitled From Bloomsbury to Borghese, was the first to be designed by artistic director Kim Jones. The Fendi Set celebrates this collection and the British artistic collective that provided the designer’s inspiration.
Jones spent his childhood a short distance from Charleston, the Sussex home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and the meeting place for the mid-20th-century group of artists, writers and intellectuals that would become known as the Bloomsbury Set. Their shared philosophy made a meaningful impression on Jones from an early age.
The group’s broad range of influences encompasses an aesthetic that is difficult to categorize: an eclectic mixture of figurative painting, pattern, colour, craft and making. Photographer Nikolai von Bismarck’s response was suitably diverse, drawing on an array of analog film formats and printing processes. The book explores locations including Charleston, synonymous with the group; Paris, the setting for the couture fashion show; and Rome’s Villa Borghese, where the histories of the Fendi family and the Bloomsbury Set meet.
The resulting images, which feature Jones’s muses, collaborators and members of the Fendi family, are presented in a wide, landscape format, reminiscent of a photo album. Varied, delicate and romantic, they are allowed to meander without the need for an explicit graphic structure, the diversity of the content gently accentuated by the characteristics of different paper stocks.
Photography: Nikolai von Bismarck