Erected in the 5th Century BC as a barrier against enemies, the Great Wall recently played host to a much more peace-loving event: a Fendi Spring 2008 fashion show staged on the world's longest runway, an impressive 200 meters snaking down the mountains of the GuanGou valley
Following a cocktail reception beneath the marble archways of the Cloud Platform, built centuries ago by the Ming Dynasty, Asian and European models presented a special collection of womenwear by Karl Lagerfeld and accessories by Silvia Fendi - granddaughter of Edoardo and Adele Fendi who founded the Fendi empire in 1925 with a handbag shop and fur workshop on Rome's Via del Plebiscito. For the Fendi-Great Wall finale, the hills of the mountain tops lit up with Fendi logos as the designers walked side-by-side down the runway.
Immediately following the show, the crowd of 500 - including LVMH Chairman and CEO, Bernard Arnault, Fendi CEO, Michael Burke; actresses Ziyi Zhang, Patty Ho, Kate Bosworth, Thandie Newton & recent Best Actress winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Jeon Do-Yeon of Korea; Miss Universe Riyo Mori of Japan; Contrast gallerist Pearl Lam; artist Terence Koh; and a glittery gathering of globetrotting fashionistas like Fabiola Beracasa, Zani Gugelmann, Amanda Hearst, Tinsley Mortimer, Julia Restoin Roitfeld & Bettina Zilkha - celebrated with dinner and dancing, some video graffiti, and wall-scaling dance performances. "We are deeply honored to have been invited to create this once in a lifetime moment," says Fendi CEO, Michael Burke, CEO, "a true partnership of like minded cultures and craftsmen, offering Fendi’s spring/summer fashions on China’s grandest monument."
While the two cultures may seem on opposite ends of the spectrum, Burke focused instead on shared traits. "China's rich appreciation for culture and history is very reminiscent of Rome's. Luxury and style have long been important to us both, and we also share a dramatic sense of history."
- Lesley Scott
(photos: The Daily Mail)
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