Saturday, in Milan, guests at the Fendi Fall-Winter 2023/2024 menswear show were greeted by a marble chute that loomed large over the runway.
It was, it turns out, a bit of foreshadowing of what Silvia Venturini Fendi would send down the runway, as models walked to a synthy Giorgio Moroder soundtrack. First, of the sloping, off-shoulder, asymmetrical tops — tanks, knitwear and outerwear, in the form of ponchos and capes. Then, of the metallic detailing that featured throughout the collection, with oversized, Fendi-branded O’Lock zipper pulls, intricate en tremblant appliqués on outerwear and jackets.
If, in recent seasons, Fendi has embraced its iconic double-F logo with enthusiasm, the F/W ‘23 collection instead offered up a slightly toned down range, that infused sartorial classics with a laidback attitude. Take, for example, the logo shrunk to create an almost plaid-like pattern or supersized to reimagine argyle, or to create an irreverent grey check and pinstripes from an abstracted Fendi astuccio motif reimagined as Fendi Shadow with horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. On that front, there were a number of prep and heritage nods, with oversized woolen fringing on scarves and even the hem of coats, as well as waxed finishing on leather pieces to create an antique look.
Amidst a palette rich in blues, greys, browns and olive green, pops of purple stuck out, particularly on one look where a purple cashmere knit was paired with a grey crocodile leather jacket. Cashmere featured prominently in the collection, with reversible and double-faced pieces that turn a hallmark of luxury — the cashmere sweater — into a utilitarian, tactically-minded piece.
It would be impossible to talk about the show without mentioning what’s likely to be one of the “it” items to emerge from it: a shearling baguette Baguette bag — a tongue in cheek take on one of Fendi’s most iconic designs.
Fashion is meant to be fun, after all, and Silvia Venturini Fendi is often the one to remind us.