Why Do Fashion People Love Virginia Woolf So Much?
At the end of January, the quote made an official appearance in the show notes for creative director Kim Jones’ debut couture collection at Fendi. The designer, who is also the artistic director at Dior Men, took Woolf as the main theme for his debut. Like many others before him, he turned to Bloomsbury Group, the wealthily bohemian circle the writer was part of. Having grown up near Charleston — a beautifully decorated farmhouse in East Sussex, England, inhabited by Woolf’s painter sister Vanessa Bell and Bell’s friend and lover Duncan Grant — Jones has said he was inspired by the group’s artistic and intellectual energies from a young age. However, although Charleston offered the backdrop, it was Woolf’s Orlando that took center stage in the show: its themes echoed in the hybrid shapes and silhouettes of the collection; lines of text from the book etched into mother-of-pearl clutches; passages from the love letters between Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, on whom the titular character Orlando was based, read out by the assembled cast of supermodels and Fendi family members. 

Rosalind Jana Read More