• The San Juan Daily Star

Puerto Rican inspires


By Iris Edén Santiago

Special to The Star


Puerto Rican fashion illustrator Antonio López is the inspiration behind Fendi’s 2022 Ready-to-Wear collection, presented recently as part of Milan Fashion Week.


López, a native of the municipality of Utuado, was a close collaborator and friend of designer Karl Lagerfeld and other important movers and shakers in the 1960s and 1970s art scene. Back in the day, he was a top-rank influencer, whose work appeared in Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, Interview and Harper’s Bazaar, among other respected publications.


López passed away in 1987, but his legacy was brought back to the limelight by the House of Fendi for a new generation of fashionistas and fashion enthusiasts to know and admire. The sexy and bold illustrations inspired Fendi’s designer and creative director Kim Jones, who transported López’s avant-garde work and signature brushstrokes to dozens of designs, from luxurious kaftans, dresses and silk blouses to coats, bags and thigh-high boots. Drawings of women, skillfully captured by López, are all over the garments created by Jones for his Spring Summer 2022 Collection.


The fashion event was a sensation. And how could it not have? To the beat of contagious 1970s disco rhythms, models paraded down the imposing runway with that unique Studio 54 swagger. Coincidentally, Lagerfeld, who preceded Jones at Fendi, designed Fendi’s Ready to Wear collection for 54 years.


The color scheme went in progression from white, and black and white, to periwinkle, pink and pastels that include mint, grey and shades of blue. Models with frizzed-out manes and sleek buns also introduced garments with glitter in warm tones like brown, and body-hugging black ensembles in leather and lace. Winning are the metallic draped mini dress and the ingenious vest with matching trousers. Both in rose gold.


In terms of silhouettes, the collection is a hybrid between the 1970s and big current trends that together project glamour, nostalgia and fierce confidence. Loved the architectural lapels in smart vests, boleros and jackets, the kaftans, power suits with micro bralettes and wide-legged pants. Tailored trousers and artsy frocks are also conversation pieces impossible to ignore.


The Fendi Spring Summer 2022 RTW collection, Jones’ first live show with the powerhouse brand, is a celebration of the work of the talented visionary López -- another Puerto Rican who keeps making us proud.