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FOR KIM Jones, fashion begins at home. Looking at the Fendi archives circa 1984, the sketches of the collections reminded the British designer of London at that period. Blitz Kids. New Romantics. All the sub-cultural movements that characterised who you were at that time.

“It was a point when British subcultures and styles became global and absorbed global influences”, said the Artistic Director of Couture and Womenswear. “Yet still with a British elegance in ease and not giving a damn what anybody else things, something that chimes with Roman style”.

For Fendi’s autumn-winter 2024 collection, Jones looked at the utilitarian aspect of the Fendi family’s style. Referencing his first meeting with Silvia Venturini Fendi, he describes her outfit as “almost a Safari suit”, adding that it “fundamentally shaped my view of what Fendi is: it is how a woman dresses that something substantial to do. And she can have fun while doing it”.

Injecting the theatrical nature of the UK’s defining fashion period to the House’s fundamentally idea that clothes can shape intent, AW24 brings a strict confidence to the runway through the duality of practicality and playfulness.

Beginning with sharp tailoring that embraces silhouette, graphic precision was created with compact wools, while layered coats matched the same slim lines through ties and belts.

Second-skin knits were more vernacular this season, dresses were practical and sensual as organza was added to produce more feminine connotations; and shearlings and leathers were shaped into statement pieces to emphasise the craftsmanship produced out of Fendi’s artisans.

Honing on the idea of past meeting present, codes and motifs that hinted further back than the 60s made a return for AW24. Selleria, commonly found in their leathergoods, debuted around the top rim of the riding boots worn by the models – also, finding itself in the jewellery, designed by Delfina Delettrez where metal thread hardware is stitched into leather bangles and chains.

Though the head-turning authority of London’s style scene in the 80s didn’t find itself exactly translated into Fendi’s AW24, the inherent British mis-match taste was evident. Peeking holes for arms, one-sleeve gloves and asymmetrical layering all despite what you may think, make for a collection brimmed with elegance that matches that of the Fendi client.

by Imogen Clark


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