Read the complete review on the Fendi Fall 2024 menswear show, which was presented in Milan, and catch a glimpse of the collection.
Asked backstage about today’s fall show references, Silvia Venturini Fendi answered that there were none, as for her the creative process is a continuous flow from one collection to the next; she ultimately works on functionality and what she calls what she calls “great classics,” that she constantly reviews and revisits. The inspiration, or the lack of it, is always the same, she explained, because “if you have obsessions, it’s difficult to let go of them.”
Working for a brand founded by her family one-hundred-years-ago gives her an appreciation of what comes from the past, but also she’s fascinated by what today has to offer. In her view, attitude, that ineffable quality impossible to pin down but immediately perceptible when it manifests, is what can turn timeless pieces into pertinent expressions of modernity. And although Venturini Fendi didn’t admit to any specific talent or aura or personality hovering over the collection, she conceded that Anne, Princess Royal, has been a rather inspiring figure. She’s a confident woman, whose elegance is dignified and unfussy. “I think she’s divine,” she said.
It’s telling and a sign of the times that the work of menswear designers is increasingly influenced by female figures; not only does it underline the blurring of the genders and the dissolving of rigid signifiers, it also brings about “an attitude of liberation,” mused Venturini Fendi who, as a woman designing menswear, is allergic to being pinned down by restrictive definitions. “A collection is a collection, period,” she stated.
Fall was about a sort of Town & Country feel, perhaps activated by images of the British outdoors. “A bit of a Balmoral look,” joked the designer. Tartans, twin sets, lodens, roomy bermudas pleated as kilts, a fisherman coat: the repertoire of a Scottish weekender was given the Fendi treatment—functional, luxurious, with a plethora of dense, engineered textures that were mind-bogglingly inventive, slightly twisted by a futuristic, experimental edge. Traditional loden was offered alongside a version made in needle-punched shearling; suede was rendered into velvety corduroy; a cocoon coat was made out of shredded washed denim and fringed mohair, looking like a fabulous fur. Outerwear—waxed jackets, greatcoats, peacoats with Selleria leather detailing—had generous proportions and looked great worn over roomy side-pleated trousers, accented by leather Wellingtons and hiking socks.
Contrasting with the collection’s outdoorsy feel, the show’s venue was transformed by artist Nico Vascellari into a stark, grey concrete box, with brushed steel benches displayed geometrically, replicating the alternating graphic sequence of FF, the Fendi monogram; Vascellari also composed the electronic soundtrack, together with DJ Rocco Rampino. It all added up to a fine show, rhythmic and spirited, yet with a cool, poised attitude—that elusive quality that Silvia Venturini Fendi has got in spades.
A glimpse at the Fendi Fall 2024 menswear collection
Originally published in Vogue.com