Friends of Fendi x Stefano Pilati for Fendi Fall Winter 2023-2024. Story by RUNWAY MAGAZINE. Photo Courtesy: Fendi.
In the rarefied world of high fashion, certain collaborations stand out as transcendent. “Friends of FENDI” is such an alliance, a testament to the dynamic confluence of art and tradition in the fashion universe. For the Fall-Winter 2023-2024 collection, this exceptional partnership, helmed by Kim Jones and Stefano Pilati, explores a harmonious union of Milanese refinement and Roman audacity. This is a profound examination of the marriage of two worlds, a manifestation of genuine friendship, and a celebration of artistic expression.
Kim Jones, the visionary contemporary designer, pays profound tribute to Stefano Pilati, a Milan native who acknowledges the unique, liberating essence of Roman style. In “Friends of FENDI,” they gracefully bridge these two distinct fashion worlds, amalgamating Milan’s sophisticated ethos with Rome’s audacious freedom. This project, fostered by Kim Jones, Silvia Venturini Fendi, and the creative brilliance of Stefano Pilati, represents a departure from the conventional approach, where creativity takes precedence over strategy, and friendship is its linchpin.
“Stefano is one of the designers I admire the most. I was always in love with his work and he is somebody I look up to – he has been an inspiration for what I do. Stefano epitomises Friends of FENDI: He is a friend, an inspiration and a designer for modern times, always looking to the future, asking questions and proffering solutions.” Kim Jones
At the core of this collection lies an exploration of FENDI’s traditional women’s and men’s wear, curated with unerring precision by Stefano Pilati. What sets this collection apart is its conscious transcendence of gender boundaries, embracing a character-driven and iconoclastic approach. Pilati delves into the 1920s, an era marked by the audacious flappers, and reimagines their spirit in a 21st-century context. These flappers, renowned for their boldness and embodiments of female freedom, are now emblematic of liberation for all sexes. The collection champions a gender-fluid aesthetic, where the traditional confines of masculinity and femininity become indistinct.
The theme of duality permeates the collection, a quintessential FENDI quality. Garments and accessories coalesce, blurring the demarcation between masculine and feminine. Men’s tailoring converges with silk or leather camisoles, while women’s tailoring is comfortably embraced by both genders. Tradition melds seamlessly with subversion, resulting in a collection that fundamentally redefines the essence of fashion.
Stefano Pilati’s virtuosity in craftsmanship is palpable throughout the collection. His impeccable adherence to the sartorial rules allows him to strategically break them, applying a contemporary perspective to both men’s and women’s fashion. His mastery of cut and construction ensures that he not only understands the rules but also knows how to manipulate them creatively.
“Milano versus Roma: I am from Milan but there is a freedom in the Roman style that Milan does not have – there is always ‘more’. This is a coming together of two worlds and I am so touched by the opportunity that Kim, Silvia and FENDI have given me to be so much myself while exploring theirs, the incomparable world of FENDI.” Stefano Pilati
The interplay of Milanese and Roman influences is evident throughout the collection, as Milan’s bourgeois chic intertwines with Rome’s unbridled freedom. The collection artfully oscillates between bourgeois prim perversity and aristocratic nonchalance, creating a captivating synthesis of silhouettes, materials, and tastes. It is here that two fashion worlds collide, and the outcome is nothing short of spectacular.
“FENDI Friends” for Fall-Winter 2023-2024 is more than just a collection; it is a profound testament to the power of friendship, unbridled creativity, and the ability to redefine the very essence of fashion. Guided by the hands of Kim Jones and Stefano Pilati, the collection brings a fresh perspective to the fashion world, demonstrating that duality and elegance can coexist harmoniously on the runway.