Chic practicality is rarely easy, but it makes for compelling craft. When Silvia Venturini Fendi began to plot out her Fall 2023 collection, she picked comfort as its uniting theme. She’s an admirable proponent of smart, fashionable, well-constructed clothes for working men–a philosophy that passed on to her heritage design house. But the past few seasons noted several changes in direction for the company she helms, which has gained a breezier feel as a result. For one thing, that meant to approach a study of sophisticated comfort which—citing the opulence of the every day—zoomed in on the elegance of the unexpected. Graphics seam details–subverted classicism inherent to the house’s name–and contrasts of shimmer and shine are embedded in a landscape of continuous sartorial experimentation. The simple, stylish nature of Fendi shined on the runway.
For Fall, Fendi’s restraint made the collection mature: earthy neutrals, black, ivory and sky blue with jolts of lilac. It made sure to give the customer luxe practicality, via combinations like trompe l’oeil clothes that trick the eye, the result of dynamic, innovative workmanship. Key in: double-faced (and reversible) cashmere, engineered leathers and jacquard silks.
There was a palpable feel of poise in the room. Though the collection wasn’t roaring where solid pieces and asymmetrical closures run apace, the custom disco soundtrack titled “After Dark”, specifically created by the legendary Italian composer and producer Giorgio Moroder, very much did. “This unique soundtrack includes new compositions and culminates in a new version of the iconic disco hit “I Feel Love”, perpetuating the house’s tradition of collaboration with the Italian electronic music scene,” observes the notes. The electric edge perhaps spoke more to Fendi’s casual aesthetic than to the brand’s traditional one. This season can be seen as a cosier experiment with the promise of continuous reinvention and exploration.
Seismic shifts seem to be increasingly commonplace this season, and it’s not a social movement. Fendi’s menswear offerings are veering off wildly in a much fresher direction, keeping silhouettes simple, tailored pieces slouchy, and making room for a wear-anywhere kind of luxe. For Fall 2023, ensembles rose to challenge by adding a touch of polished chic to the practical classics for which the label is known. Cocooning outerwear numbers were paired with the sensuality of languid knits and deconstructed shirting to question the boundaries of utility and artifice. Elsewhere, blanket coats and ponchos swaddle ribbed cashmere track separates, while fluid trousers were cut with a draped skirt.
Practicality is all about easy comfort, and, as far as Fendi is concerned, that notion extends to accessories as well. It brought forth accessories with playful glamour, exploring the season’s hybrid formality with a heightened precision in craftsmanship. It’s fair to assume Fendi’s retailers were asking for more “fuss-free” options or possibly breezier ones, but it’s still the uber-chic, keep-forever stuff that gives Fendi its edge.
Head below to see the collection for yourself, right now…