IT’S ALL about practicality for Kim Jones this season at Fendi. There is undoubtedly a beautiful glamour within high fashion but after a while you realise the only glamour truly indulgent is functionality. “What is particularly interesting to me about Fendi is exploring the notion of functional utility alongside femininity,” begins the creative director. “Because the Fendi women are strong women with full, busy lives”.
Building on this notion while developing the House’s codes established by his predecessor, Karl Lagerfeld, Jones is looking at the past with a fresh perspective. Using Lagerfeld’s work from 1996 to 2002 as the starting point to the spring-summer 2023 collection, technically and visually the designer is aiming to ensure continuity in aesthetic is seen during his tenure.
Reintroducing a logo from 2000 and an archival floral print, the clothes revolve around the freedom that arrived at the turn of the millennium – think minimalism meets eclecticism. New dimensions are a large part to the technical shift as organza and nylon jerseys are embellished with lacquered embroidery, while slouching cuts and racerback silhouettes hint at Jones’ knack for meticulous tailoring.
Deeply feminine in its colour palette, the SS23 collection interplays a harmonious symphony of neutrals with shocking pops of colour to ensure youth and vibrancy don’t leave this family founded brand. Textures also help heighten the Italian taste as cashmere, fur, shearling and leather are stripped of their weight and given a summer transformation.
Hailed for their accessories, Fendi’s offering this season plays on juxtapositions. Speaking on the jewellery, Delfina Delettrez Fendi explains, “we are working with the rigid and the soft, the logo almost disappears into functional architecture suspending each stone”. For leather, the famed Peekaboo is sliced into two, with one half revealing, but more notably showcasing, the savoir-faire of its construction, and the classic double FF logo sees one of the letter’s drop to become a handle.
It’s this duality that is exciting to see throughout the collection, past and present, hard with soft, and so on, and whats more is that Jones manages to ensure his promise of continuity is kept – and with pockets too.