Friends of Fendi’s fall-winter collection goes beyond gender to something essentially more character-driven and iconoclastic.
Instigated by Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini Fendi, Fendi’s new collection explores the traditional womenswear and menswear sides of brand. Curated by Stefano Pilati, it is a reflection on the 1920s as well as the 2020s, an exploration of the flapper for today.
“Stefano is one of the designers I admire the most,” Kim Jones said. “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.”
Fall-winter bags become shorthand for the character of the wearer, each with its own distinct personality. In many ways, it is a “greatest hits” of Fendi bags — from iconic shapes to new classics —approached with a new eye by Silvia Venturini Fendi curated with Pilati.
The FF buckle is applied to the sides — as opposed to the fastening — of the new Baguette Twist, which is crafted from color blocking smooth nappa leather. The new Fendi Boston 365 bag appears in a modern and sleek design with a magnetic opening and hammered leather.
The idea of duality runs throughout, from the concept and construction of the Origami bag to the dual pocketed Peekaboo in a range of startling exotics. A new, pillowy, softly constructed leather Baguette also makes a debut appearance; featuring a bold FENDI metallic logo script, the handle can also be worn as an ornament attached to the shoulder strap.
Shoes are constructed and sized with both sexes in mind and also often feature a hybridized style. For example, loafers present a classically rigorous masculine construction and weight in calf — yet with the addition of a distinctly feminine kitten heel while ballerinas are toughened both literally and figuratively with the use of constructed, binding ankle straps.
Jewelry, designed by Delfina Delettrez Fendi, also plays with codes of duality. “Milanese” mesh features the dynamic Fendi logo while colors of metal mix in silver and gold. The classic and the obsessive become one: a watch strap aesthetic runs throughout with this typically masculine decoration utilized for each gender through patterning traditionally seen on watches and lighters.
Stefano Pilati said, “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.”
A sense of duality — a very Fendi quality — and a hybridization in clothing takes place in the collection both in terms of individual garments and accessories together with clothing combinations. The rigour and construction of a masculine world are combined with a feminine linear curve, particularly in the tailoring which features a softer, more voluminous construction.
Men’s tailoring might be worn with silk or leather camisoles. Women’s tailoring is casually worn by both sexes. Experiments in traditional construction take place throughout the collection, yet are always rigorous and easeful.
Duality extends to where Milano meets Roma in the collection. Here, Milanese bourgeois chic meets Roman freedom. Bourgeois prim perversity is played upon together with an aristocratic insouciance.
Classics of silhouette, materiality and taste are approached rigorously and playfully by the Milanese Pilati at the quintessential Roman house — where there is truly a coming together of two worlds.
Fendi’s fall-winter collection is now available at Greenbelt 3.