WHAT is normal today? That is the question that Creative Director Silvia Venturini Fendi asked when designing the fall-winter 2021 menswear collection. Her answer lies in a mirrored tunnel with neon suspended doorways to the beat of an electronic track by Not Waving. The immersive digital show was directed by Italian artist Nico Vascellari who turned the presentation into a futuristic, vibrant music video.
A technicoloured fantasy emerged, both contemporary and traditional, the menswear collection encapsulated a spectrum of colour and fun. Saffron, cobalt, emerald and orange brightened the runway alluding to an element of hope while black, camel and charcoal played the continual role of effortless elegance due to their understated effect in clothes.
In terms of clothing and its functionality, Fendi’s FW21 collection shows how fashion is a zeitgeist. Silvia Venturini designed during the pandemic, the constant moving from the confines of your home to work proved that life as we know it is not normal. To predict where we will be next winter is difficult. However, there is both hope and luxury that is balanced with relaxed silhouettes and multifunctional pieces for fall-winter.
Diagonal quilting in puffer jackets and coats are reminiscent of eiderdown blankets, and piped pyjama hemlines blur the lines between indoor and outdoor attire. Many of the pieces were made to cocoon the wearer; belted overcoats similar to dressing gowns and a knitted dungaree with matching turtle neck came to show us maybe the most luxury thing is being comfortable. Between the relaxed looks, strong tailoring shone through with silk shirts, double-breasted blazers and flattering trench coats being particular highlights.
Weaved into the FW21 collection is an unusual and unexpected collaboration between the Italian fashion house and British artist and comedian Noel Fielding. Known more widely among the population for his humour on talk shows and his entertaining input into Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off, the comedian provides a series of psychedelic art that reinterprets the Fendi logo while taking inspiration from cosmic, dream-like themes.
Not just stitched into knitwear and printed onto outerwear pieces, Fielding’s art is embossed into classic bags like the Peekaboo and FF buckle tote. Other bags like the Baguette, backpacks and crossbody pouches are given a full makeover in colour-matched leathers and dipped hardware.
Ultimately, the question regarding normality is one hard to answer. The phrase the “new normal” is flung about with no real definition to it. However, in terms of fashion, it is clear that there is a balance between luxury and its opulence, and the comfort found at home. Maybe fashion’s extravagance is on pause, but Silvia’s Fendi proves that even relaxed fashion deserves a place on the runway.