Finally, a proper IRL runway show (even though most of us were watching it on a URL)! After months of digital experimentations, the LVMH-owned Fendi heralded a return to the now-old-school but ultimately comforting catwalk, kicking off Milan Fashion Week along the way. In the brand’s first co-ed show (and Silvia Venturini Fendi‘s last solo outing before Kim Jones takes the helm at its womenswear next season), a clever play on duality and contradictions reigns supreme—the severe vs. the soft, the buttoned-up against the uninhibited, womanly women alongside boyish boys, and straightforward silhouettes juxtaposed with intricate craftsmanship and impeccable construction.
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Elsewhere, the humble played against the haute—best signified by the linens and bedding fabrics offset with feathers and furs.The formal was softened, the relaxed, elevated; and the lightness of transparent fabrics found its counterpoint in the rich textures realised in different regions in Italy. With some looks referencing duvets and blankets, it was like couture built from and for the comforts of home—a brilliant nod to our new normal. On the accessories front, Venturini Fendi played a game of conceal-and-reveal—shrouding House icons like the Peekaboo and Baguette bags in sheer organzas and silks. At a time when the human touch has become a rare commodity, the mark of the human hand is stronger than ever—evidenced in the basketry, latticework, quilting and weaving.
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Before the show, the collection was previewed on multiple generations of the Fendi family and continuing the familial theme, Venturini Fendi casted siblings as well as parents and children to walk the show. Expanding on last season’s diverse casting, she also brought forth a multigenerational and size-inclusive crew of models that included Penelope Tree, Ashley Graham, Karen Elson, Yasmin le Bon, Eva Herzigova and Paloma Elsesser.