IF THERE is one thing we have all collectively taken from the past couple of months is the importance of family. No country understands this better than Italy as their lives are centred around “la famiglia”. The spring-summer 2021 women’s and menswear collection for Fendi is an amalgamation of memories collected by Silvia Venturini Fendi as she sat in her home in Rome with different generations surrounding her. 

Naturally, intimacy became a theme that is threaded through the clothes as the Creative Director looked into domestic life and decided to combine the mundane with luxury. Linen played a significant role throughout, hinting at traditional tablecloths and bedding however infused with feathers, fur and quilting in true Fendi manner – all symbolic of textures and materials you would find at home.

The colour palette to the SS21 collection is predominantly neutral taking inspiration from the domesticity of the Italian countryside, with hues of wheat, honey and milk juxtaposed with blues reminiscent of the sky and red hinting at papal clothing.

Both the women’s and menswear collections have explored the columns that come together to create the Fendi brand focusing on tradition rather than trend. Formal attire is looked at through a more relaxed perspective with shirt sleeves unbuttoned, classic tailoring details are debossed in knitwear and flared tunics make an appearance.

Latticework integrated on fur, floral prints are faded onto linen and apron dresses are made from silk duchesse accompanied with embroidered tulle.

With this collection being her last womenswear one for the brand started by her grandparents, it is a deeply personal one. Her mother and four sisters inherited it in 1925, and she has spent the entirety of her career building it up to be one of the world’s leading luxury brands.

Earlier this month, the fashion house announced the appointment of Kim Jones as Artistic Director of womenswear at Fendi, allowing Silvia to concentrate on menswear.

With this in mind, it is no wonder that Silvia wanted to go back to her earliest memories of Fendi while being influenced by the change of the past few months. The designer understands that fashion is a zeitgeist, and the SS21 collection is a perfect example of how clothes should tell a story. The story is one of Italian craftsmanship and love.

Accessories are at the heart of Fendi, and this collection was no exception in their continual reinvention of their classics – the iconic Peekaboo and Baguette come with floral fur and cotton ajouré this season.

A special Baguette constructed from sugar coated lace using a technique refined by Benedictine nuns in the 15th century, therefore making it completely sheer, becomes a special addition to the collection as a part of the Hand-in-Hand Baguette project; that utilises local Italian artisans with the luxury house.

Though this is not a final goodbye for Silvia at Fendi, the overall SS21 collection is an emotional one. Whilst most designers are looking for some form of escapism with their clothes this season, Fendi is going back to its roots. The concept of Fendi and family go hand-in-hand, and there is no better person to show us the beauty in our ordinary than Silvia.

by Imogen Clark 


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