Fendi SS23 – Milan Fashion Week
Michael Meir-Wright reviews the new summer collection from Mr. Kim Jones
In the two years since his accession to the artistic director’s throne, Kim Jones has always sought to chart a deliberate and forward-thinking new course for Fendi. However, for SS23 at Milan Fashion Week, the British designer turned to the legendary Italian fashion House’s archives for his inspiration, and mainly the work of his predecessor – the incomparable Karl Lagerfeld. Yet, Jones knew that one cannot simply recreate what has gone before. So what emerged from his exploration was a striking and contemporary collection that reimagined mid-Nineties to early Noughties style as functional yet luxurious contemporary wear. “Fendi women are strong women with full, busy lives,” said Jones of his thinking.
To start with, Fendi’s pleasingly familiar palette of soothing neutrals was disrupted by arresting accents of saturated colour. Think peppermint rubber platforms alongside shearling overcoats in earthy tones. Or satin cargo trousers in coral paired with a ribbed nylon sweater in stone. Elsewhere, that turn of the century wardrobe staple – the It Bag – was recontextualised in lime coloured fur.
Jones doesn’t limit his experimentation to colour either. Flowing fabrics and textures were reconsidered, colliding in unexpected and captivating ways. Nylon jersey adorned with lacquered embroidery, offered us new contrasts – sporty and delicate, effortless yet refined. Subtle layers of scintillating organza were embroidered with both the famed ‘Double F’ and a Lagerfeld-designed floral print from 2000 to perfectly encapsulate the value of looking to the past to move forward.
Duality is a central theme at Fendi next summer, and nowhere will this be more evident than in the house’s bags. High-shine leather mini-bags will be key to the offering, and small enough to allow the maximalist to double up. After all, why have one when you can have two? The ‘Double F’ signature will also be found throughout the accessories range, acting as handles and straps cast in burnished metals and playing the perfect supporting roles to the main ‘cast’ on the catwalk.
The past may have served as a starting point for the collection, but it’s clear that under Kim Jones, Fendi’s has its future assured.
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