Silvia Venturini Fendi’s final fashion show at the helm of Fendi womenswear, before incoming artistic director Kim Jones presents his brand vision next season, was an ode to family and the powerful females at the heart of the storied Italian brand. With the help of casting director Piergiorgio Del Moro, she enlisted a diverse cast, including Ashley Graham, Penelope Tree, Cecilia Chancellor, Paloma Elsesser and Jill Kortleve, to manifest this girl power during a memorable last hurrah to be proud of. Here, five things to know about Fendi’s fresh unisex spring/summer 2021 collection.
Boy-meets-girl tailoring befit a co-ed show
“There are many boys’ looks that are worn by girls and vice versa,” Venturini Fendi told British Vogue during a Zoom preview. This louche unisex clothing edit – from muted, slouchy suiting to shirts and tunics printed with shadows – felt appropriate for the brand’s first co-ed show. It might have been a more tempered down take on Fendi’s usual female power dressing, but Venturini Fendi assured us, “It’s the same woman. Women are very hard to silence. You have to find the men who want to listen to them, not the men who want to be macho men. That’s very Italian.” Normal People star Paul Mescal, who sat on the socially-distant front row, could be the first to try on this soft tailoring for size.
Artisanal linen is for life, not just Italian weddings
“I wanted to start with the most basic fabric; the most ancient one, which is linen,” Venturini Fendi explained of the ancient Egyptian cloth that is passed between generations at Italian nuptials. “It’s also good for the moment, because it’s totally sustainable.” In practice, this artisanal fabric – “pure and simple, but complex and rich” – made short suits, jumpsuits and three-piece suits look modern, yet made to last.
It was a styling lesson in school-girl socks
Preppy dressers will be overjoyed by the sock-drawer overhaul dictated by Fendi’s main spring/summer 2021 trend: socks with everything. From hot-pink pairs to fresh whites printed with the Fendi logo, officewear – whether at home or actually al desko – looked energising, youthful and, most importantly, accessible.
Covid-appropriate accessories are the new norm
Broderie anglaise was used to add nostalgia to new accessories – “I wanted to connect with the past,” reiterated Venturini Fendi – including handkerchief handbags, and picnic hamper bags with napkins and rugs at the ready. After a summer of park-based socialising, these sweet accessories tapped into the zeitgeist, unlike most It-bags.
Silvia Venturini Fendi went out with a bang
Venturini Fendi spent a lot of time during this “strange period” thinking about the meaning of fashion, “not as possessions but in terms of how it’s made”. “I wanted to start with the most simple things: the values that are passed down from generation to generation,” she explained. Accordingly, the designer bowed out with a collection that won’t be relegated to the spring/summer 2021 season, but will endure as part of the Fendi legacy. “I’m ready to jump into something new, it’s going to be very interesting,” she said of the next chapter led by her friend, Kim.