“THE best way to explore the Fendi archives is through the Fendi wardrobes” explains Kim Jones. With the brand built on familial talent, and one that has continued to focus on its Italian values since its founding, the autumn-winter 2022 collection is a touching reappraisal of Fendi’s past.
It all started when Delettrez walked into the headquarters in Rome one morning in a printed blouse extracted secretly from her mother’s wardrobe, when Jones discovered the brand’s spring-summer 1986 collection. Designed by his predecessor, Karl Lagerfeld, the British designer delved deeper into the archives to find a fitting counterpart to reference, uncovering the autumn-winter 2000 show.
Reimagining the 1986 Memphis geometric print and noting the sartorial styling, he reached into the ultra-feminine lightness of the 2000 collection to merge the two, playing with the duality of strength and softness. “And it all started with Delfina,” credits Jones as the genesis to AW22 – a collection that once again ensures characteristically that it caters for each generation and chapter of his Fendi woman’s life, evoking a sense of timelessness, just like that of a family.
“I saw these prints on myself; Kim saw them on Delfina,” explains Silvia Venturini Fendi. “What interests me the most about fashion is when it isn’t something just for the moment – and with Fendi, that is always the case, because it is never banal”.
Classic wraps of chiffon, delicate opaque slip-dresses and corseted shirting spoke volumes despite the slimming silhouette that formed. Paired with cashmere opera-like gloves, cropped jackets and belts that were designed to cinch the waist and hold your phone, the conscientious detailing added to the fresh perspective that Jones injected into the archival material.
While previous collections have seen Jones avert himself from tailoring, in a presumable effort to showcase a different side to his design repertoire, AW22 ignites with his decadent utilitarian touch. Uniting form, function and luxury, blazers detach into a flattering gilet, collars stand to attention and high-waisted trousers were juxtaposed with moments of shorts to hint at a day-to-night Mediterranean look.
With the iconic Baguette reaching its 25th anniversary milestone later this year, Silvia Venturini began the celebrations in true Fendi tradition by reviving three previous editions: one in cashmere, another in shearling lined leather and the last in intarsia mink – a mega luxe fur bag for winter!
Delettrez, on the other hand, magnified the logo into statement ear cuffs, tennis bracelets were adorned with baguette crystals and most notably, the Master Key motif dangled from pendants: “It unlocks everything, every door. Clearly the Fendi archive”.
Though inspired by the past, Jones’ grasp on contemporary fashion forfeits any trend or momentary explosion on social media, ultimately reflecting the same long-standing vestige of Fendi. And with family at the core of everything this House stands upon, I think this collection cements Jones’ place around the dinner table.