The Hypnotic Appeal of a Fendi Peekaboo

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Styling by Lu Philippe Guilmette

Ahead of their S/S17 fashion show, we examine the antique carpetry that decorated Fendi's iconic peekaboo for A/W16

TextOlivia SingerPhotographyMathilde AgiusPhotographic EditorHolly Hay

Fendi Peekaboo

Velvet and metal hardware, 34.5cm x 11cm x 25cm

To create an it-bag is no small feat: an accessory that bears a name of its very own, is trans-seasonally successful and (of course) a status symbol for those who carry it. These are the pieces that drive revenues and cement a brand’s cultural cachet – and it is Fendi who were credited as the pioneers of the phenomenon when, in 1997, Silvia Fendi created the Carrie Bradshaw-beloved baguette, which has since been reworked in over 1000 styles. The concept of the it-bag has since fallen in and out of fashion – sometimes considered too louche, sometimes too passé – and yet the adaptation of a staple silhouette to suit seasonal collections is an enduring trend.

The Peekaboo is one of the greatest examples of the bag as a fashion icon: season after season, it appears in seemingly infinite colourways and sizes, resplendent with all sorts of embellishments or charms, and never ceases to enchant. Here, it is inlaid with an antique carpetry technique for a hypnotically hallucinogenic effect that Silvia Fendi terms the “electric touch of strong, vibrant colours” – and its appeal is, truly, electric. Gravitational waves meet a Japanese garden upon one of the world's most revered forms. What more could one possibly want from a handbag?