by Allyson Portee
Founded by Adele and Edoardo Fendi in 1926, the House of Fendi is one of history, Italian aesthetics, family ties, and longevity. As the house evolves under the oversight of Silvia Venturini Fendi (the granddaughter of the founders), and on from the designing days of Karl Lagerfeld, to its newish artistic director Kim Jones, who will oversee haute couture, ready-to-wear, and fur collections. These evolutionary changes show design strength in Fendi’s 2021 spring collection infused with looks for men as well. The collection was the first physical fashion show during Milan Fashion Week, as the industry and Italian branch of it strived to show that shows must go on.
Shown during Milan Fashion Week with the pandemic in full swing, models walked down a simple runway in a sea of white. There were motifs of home and domestic life throughout the collection. Blacks, whites, beiges and creams dominated the collection, but looks of bright red and pink also pop into the various looks. Silvia also created blurry-looking prints, which can be seen on the looks and accessories from the collection.
Silhouettes are loose and not as form-fitting, giving ease and comfort in a time where people are relaxed and working from home. Even women’s suits are loose-fitting of flaxen linen, cotton, and crisp white dresses “Acknowledging the gravity of a moment clothes tell stories of the rigor of Italian craft and the emotion of our universal experience,” notes the house in a statement.
Silvia Fendi and her team really wanted a collection that reflected the era of Covid, making looks reflective of how people have been dressing while working from home. She took elements of working in bed and being surrounded by duvet covers and put them in the form of looks. For shoes, looks were matched with socks worn with slippers. For models, it was working mothers, fathers, sisters, and sons because it was a show about family, and value that runs deep into the vein of the house. “Time spent with family — generations reunited at home in Rome — is a catalyst for quiet introspection: at the window or in the garden, watching the world go by,” notes the house. But also models Ashley Graham, who walked her first Fendi show, and Paloma Elsesser also walked in the show.
Under the burden of a pandemic, Fendi was able to still create a sartorial story of Italian craftsmanship, and create a collection that is reflective of the times we’re living in.