The first day of Milan Fashion Week also marked Silvia Venturini Fendi’s final show as the sole creative director of Fendi’s women’s and haute couture collections. That title will be passed on to Kim Jones, the artistic director of Dior men’s, working alongside her as collaborator and as Karl Lagerfeld’s successor.
Despite operating a fashion show under strange times, Fendi’s Women’s and Men’s Spring Summer ‘21 show also had all the appearances of a normal show. Held in the Fendi show space in Milan, the event was replete with masks and socially distanced guests, and even star appeal, including pop sensation Rita Ora and Irish heart-throb Paul Mescal of Normal People.
As her final tenure, it is perhaps fitting, then, that the collection serves as a patchwork of memories designed by Ms Silvia Venturini -- an ode to family time, intimacy and domestic bliss.
Due to travel restrictions, Fendi also did away with the insta-famous supermodels we have been so used to seeing on the catwalks, and instead, recruited the supermodels from yesteryear, including Penelope Tree, 70 and Yasmin Le Bon, 55, as well as casting close to the Fendi family, including Edie and Olympia Campbell, Cecilia and Lucas Chancellor and more.
The show had an intimate atmosphere, enhanced by the reduced number of guests (from a maximum capacity of 1,500, to just 130 guests at the event), airy set that was enlivened by delicate white curtains, as if catching a glimpse of a domestic scene, and digital ‘windows’ punctuating the walls and floors for glimpses of the outside world. As models walked through the show set, each window projected a fleeting, unique story across each look, playing a game of transparency and texture.
Linen was a star fabric here, romanced with cotton, feathers, fur and eiderdown quilting, that conjures images of embroidered bedding and tableware. “I wanted to start with the most basic fabric; the most ancient one, which is linen,” Venturini Fendi explained to a publication, and of the ancient Egyptian cloth that is passed between generations at Italian nuptials. The material is also modern and made to last.
The women’s and men’s collections also explores Fendi traditions stripped bare, from boutis satin quilting to the linear encrustations of jour d’echelle ladder-work and flourishes of ajouré flowers that expose skin to create layers of light and shade, and formal structures that are softened, such as embroidered housecoats and flared tunics elevate the comforts of home. Clean, airy and beautiful.
Check out the entire collection here: