Fendi unveils cocooning collection for our changing times
While the models stride briskly across a dance floor illuminated by multi-coloured neon lights, a plaintive, far-off voice talks about light, elegance, colours and darkness. “What is normal today?” whispers Silvia Fendi Venturini on the powerful techno soundtrack composed by Alessio Natalizia (a.k.a. Not Waving) for the Fall/Winter 2021-22 menswear show by Fendi, broadcast digitally on Saturday during the second day of the virtual Milan Fashion Week.
Fendi Venturini, creative director of the luxury Roman label owned by LVMH, chose as her starting point the continued uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has upended many of our habits in recent months. She decided to revisit the label's menswear wardrobe, evolving it and adapting it to our new world, which seems at once so strange and so normal.
Fendi Venturini’s take on the ‘new normal’ originated with multiple menswear classics which she turned into timeless items, by adopting a fresh perspective that incorporates changing lifestyles and the new needs of modern men. The collection is characterised by versatility, comfort, functionality and simplicity. Its looks swing between innovation and normality, but they are also infused with a fresh zest of energy and imagination.
It is all about recherché, comfortable materials, from zipped tops in bouclé wool to reversible down-lined overcoats, and snugly enveloping pyjama-shirts that morph into jackets, worn over broad-striped sweaters. A biker jacket, redesigned in oversize proportions, is made in a thick woollen material. The collar of some cable-knit sweaters extends into two long sections, tied up like a scarf around the neck
The cocooning feel is accentuated by the ubiquitous quilted fabrics, used for oversize coats with piped hems and edges, like old-fashioned dressing gowns, as well as for trousers, generously cut shorts, sport jackets and even for pocket inserts. The collection also features a great deal of knitwear, notably the warm pyjama-style trousers long enough to cover the shoes, or the layette-look dungarees.
Next winter, Fendi men won’t leave the house without mittens, and will be wrapped up warm in XXL, brightly coloured down jackets (in golden yellow, fuchsia, orange and royal blue) or in bulky quilted overcoats looking like dressing gowns. Men who clearly seem unable to jettison the comfy loungewear they enjoyed wearing during the lockdowns and when working from home.
And they enjoy practical details like the slits on trouser legs or under a jacket's shoulders, allowing a suit to shed its customary rigidity. Not to mention the long cashmere scarf fitted with a large pocket.
The collection's colour palette is quite neutral, consisting mostly of beige, soft hues, black and a few flashes of colour in monochrome outfits, though some items are energised by joyful, brightly coloured designs, printed or embroidered on overcoats and knitwear, that look like doodles or hastily sketched children’s drawings, the work of British artist and comedian Noel Fielding.
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