“I

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Life -

was raised on milk— and fash­ion,” says the jew­ellery de­signer Del­fina Delet­trez, glanc­ing over at her mother Sil­via Venturini Fendi, the head of ac­ces­sories at the fam­ily’s epony­mous fash­ion house, who has turned up un­ex­pect­edly mid­way through the BAZAAR shoot. As a young girl, Delet­trez ex­plains, she would beg to do her home­work in the ate­lier (or as she de­scribes it, her “sec­ond school”), where Karl Lager­feld was a fa­mil­iar pres­ence. “I knew that when he was in the stu­dio, some­thing spe­cial was go­ing on be­cause ev­ery­thing was in or­der,” she says. “Ev­ery­body was wear­ing heels and look­ing pret­tier.”

Pe­tite and poised, her dark hair slicked back and wear­ing black from head to toe, the 29-year-old is emerg­ing as the lat­est cre­ative force in the il­lus­tri­ous fash­ion dy­nasty. Her great-grand­par­ents Edoardo Fendi and Adele Casagrande founded the house in 1925 as a fur work­shop, re­design­ing coats to flat­ter the fe­male form. To­day, Delet­trez is in­fil­trat­ing the tra­di­tion­ally male world of horol­ogy, with her first watch col­lec­tion for Fendi, Poli­cro­mia.

The range is in­spired by the geo­met­ric lay­out of the Palazzo della Civiltà Ital­iana in Rome, which is home to Fendi’s head­quar­ters. “I’ve al­ways thought of the build­ing as a giant sun­dial be­cause of all the shad­ows,” she says. “Each floor has its own mar­ble, al­most like dif­fer­ent land­scapes, and then through the arches you can some­times see a light blue sky, some­times an amaz­ing sun­set, or dark clouds. It’s very Magritte.”

Just as Fendi cus­tomers can build the bag of their dreams, the Poli­cro­mia watches are avail­able in 20 mod­els, and can be per­son­alised with pre­cious stones in­clud­ing mala­chite, tiger’s eye, ob­sid­ian, and lapis lazuli. The coloured al­li­ga­tor straps are hand­crafted in Fendi work­shops, and fin­ished with 18-carat-gold buck­les and a sprin­kling of bril­liant-cut white di­a­monds. So­phis­ti­cated lay­er­ing of spheres and sec­tors gives the il­lu­sion of move­ment, even though ev­ery­thing is static. “I like to sub­vert,” she says. “I like jew­ellery that twirls and twists, that adapts, that changes.”

Delet­trez grew up be­tween Rio de Janeiro, where her fa­ther, the jew­ellery de­signer Bernard Delet­trez, was based, and the South of France. She now lives in Rome with her 9-year-old daugh­ter, Emma. They travel to Paris reg­u­larly for the fash­ion shows and for week­end breaks, so she has bought her­self the bi­jou pied-à-terre over­look­ing Place de Fursten­berg in the 6th ar­rondisse­ment where we meet. “I re­ally wanted to live in this par­tic­u­lar square,” she says, “be­cause it’s like a theatre. There’s al­ways some­thing go­ing on—lovers fight; peo­ple play gui­tar and start singing; painters set up their easels.” (She also en­joys the fact that her great-aunt Carla Fendi lives on the op­po­site side.)

Silk top; satin apron; cot­ton trousers; and knit­ted and em­broi­dered an­kle boots, all from Fendi. Delet­trez’s lucky lamp

A mask Delet­trez made, in­spired by Eyes Wide Shut

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