Fendi Fall Winter 2022-2023 Milan. Review by Eleonora de Gray, Editor-in-Chief of RUNWAY MAGAZINE.
Kim Jones refracts two iconic FENDI collections through a distinctly contemporary lens, reconfiguring the past for today and considering the house’s signatures with a fresh perspective.
Inspired by Delfina Delettrez walking into the Roman headquarters dressed in a printed blouse stolen from her mother’s wardrobe, Jones excavated the house’s history to rediscover Spring Summer 1986: a celebration of Karl Lagerfeld’s love for the artistic movement. “The best place to explore the FENDI archives is through the Fendi wardrobes,” notes Jones. “And these are collections which, although they come from the past, feel very now.”
Reworking and pairing the geometric prints and sartorial styling of 1986 with the diaphanous lightness of Fall Winter 2000-2001, what emerges is a diametric exploration of strength and of softness – a runway of powerful women in beautiful clothes. “It’s a wardrobe designed for every aspect of a woman’s life, for every generation,” Jones says. “And it all started with Delfina.”
“It brings me directly to the history of my family. I saw these prints on myself; Kim saw them on Delfina,” explains Silvia Venturini Fendi. “What interests me the most about fashion is when it isn’t something just for the moment – and with FENDI, that is always the case, because it is never banal. There is always a story behind each piece, something a little different.”
Through wisps of chiffon tucked into elegant tweeds; delicate slip dresses paired with long cashmere gloves; stock shirting corseted into hyper-feminine forms; masculine tailoring abbreviated into cropped jackets, a new equilibrium is found. Classic FENDI utilitarianism – an irreverent unison of form and function – is inbuilt into garments with transformative functionality: a blazer detaches into a tailored gilet; a pocketed belt is designed to both cinch the waist and hold a phone. FENDI’s illusory techniques are employed in curled, repurposed mohair that gives the illusion of shearling, or shaved shearling that appears like fur. The O’Lock print, first seen as part of the Fall Winter 2022-2023 menswear collection, is translated into womenswear with ethereal lightness. “There are no barriers, no divisions at FENDI,” says Silvia. “Because it’s a family.”
In accessories designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi, the house’s dedication to craftsmanship is expressed through new chapters of the ‘hand in hand’ project, alongside intarsia fur iterations of the FENDI First and oversized shopper. In celebration of the Baguette’s 25th anniversary, three of its beloved previous editions are revived: in cashmere, in shearling-lined leather and in intarsia mink.
In jewellery designed by Delfina Delettrez, monograms are supersized into ear cuffs while tennis bracelets are quietly inset with baguette crystals for an allusion to the FF logo. Strung from pendants and suspended as earrings, the Master Key motif is introduced. “It unlocks everything, every door,” smiles Delettrez. “Clearly, the FENDI archive.”