THERE are three words that summarise the Fendi autumn-winter 2023 menswear collection according to its show notes: cozy, sexy and cool. Dissecting and rebuilding the foundations of everyday wear through the lens of Italian sophistication and the requirement of comfort, Artistic Director of menswear, Silvia Venturini Fendi brought a new type of sartorial experimentation to the House through twisting codes, focusing on movement and utilising fabrics.
While runway shows invite you to dream and showcase an elevated version of clothing, this collection was steeped in reality. Tailoring this season was sharp and executed through a meticulous eye, as certain silhouettes were structured to be oversized and yet enhanced the model’s body, while others were sharp and conservative adding to the duality of what modern menswear is shaping out to be.
It’s this very juxtaposition, between tough and traditional, between futurism and gender-blurring that Silvia plays so well with in AW23. Never straying too far from the framework of Fendi, reshaping House codes through trompe l’oeil pieces that manipulate fabric to create new gestures of textures and patina, there is a purpose in each piece.
Material choice is always key for Fendi, and the offering this time around presents reversible cashmere, engineered leather and jacquard silks that elevate the sober colour palette through shimmers of silver, violet and indigo. Beyond the glimpses of more feminine colours, the collection focuses less on being bold focusing more on shades of grey, oatmeal, mocha and navy, and more on the cuts of each piece.
Taking movement and wearability into focus with each design decision, cocooning outerwear, like blanket coats, double-breasted overcoats and ponchos are paired with languid knits like vests and ribbed track separates to echo the seasonal forecast – but seminal additions of fringing, extravagant mohair and layering reflect the beauty of the 360° look that boasts a subtle extravagance with each step the Fendi man takes.
With accessories a key to the Fendi brand, glamour is injected into their offering as the famous Peekaboo evolves with bold metallic strap hardware and sprayed shearling, the Baguette arrives in burnished leather and all-over utility pockets, and the new hobo satchel comes in grained leather or suede. Sneakers make a return with scuba and mesh for a more casual option, but Cuban heel boots, Fendi Frame moccasins and lace-ups dominant the footwear catalogue for AW23.
From the coats and jackets to shirts, shoes and bags, Silvia Venturini Fendi’s collection is meticulously cohesive bringing a forgotten elegance back to modern menswear as wearability and luxury arrive once again together.