All hail the working man — Silvia Fendi is feeling concerned about the needs of future generations who will likely have to change careers myriad times in their lives.
Leading by example, the designer tapped London-based, career-juggling artist Sue Tilley, who worked at a dole center in London’s Charing Cross for 37 years but was also a muse to Lucian Freud and best friends with Leigh Bowery, to collaborate on the line.
“She had a wild artist life and she’s an artist herself. It’s about combining different aspects and being open to change,” the designer said backstage as models filed by in outfits perfect for conducting business meetings on Skype (all traditional executive up top — think knitted polo and checked jacket — and shorts and slides below).
Presented on a black-and-white marble runway meant to mirror Fendi’s headquarters in Rome, the fun collection channeled a Fifties-meets-Seventies stance based on spins on masculine classics from the wardrobe of a nouveau riche executive whose level of taste is so naf it’s cool.
Sportswear mingled with office staples like suspenders, slingback loafers and printed silk ties. Fendi revisited retro tracksuit tops in luxe materials like fur and suede and used synthetics for the tailoring, including an amazing sheer brown nylon plaid suit paired with a cropped blue T-shirt.
Among the mix of motifs, which included a heavy dose of retro Fendi logo action, suede was a key ingredient, with a palette centered on pastel tones — namely pink — mixed with warm browns. A range of looks and accessories came splashed with transfers and prints based on Tilley’s paintings of everyday objects one would find on a desk like teacups, desk lamps, bananas and keys.
With her updates on business dressing, and new way of envisioning a suit, Fendi’s proposition for what a guy’s to wear in the modern world was compelling — and much more forward-looking than many designers who believe everyone will be ditching their suits to don streetwear. It also chimed with the season’s childish mood and desire for escapism, to go back to an age of innocence and problem-free times.
Encapsulating the mood for corporate escapism was the reversible, nylon Monday-to-Friday bag which was plain on one side and sprinkled with Tilley’s everyday objects on the other, including itsy-bitsy martini glasses.
More From Milan Men’s Spring 2018 Collections:
Giorgio Armani Men’s Spring 2018: The collection was signature Giorgio, with a subdued color palette including 50 shades of light gray.
Prada Men’s Spring 2018: All the quirk and romance of the fall collection was swept away – in a moment – by Miuccia Prada, who sent her preppy nerds and rustic hippies packing.
Tom Ford Men’s Spring 2018: It’s a bright, bright sunshiny spring for Tom Ford, whose collection was filled with hot Mediterranean tones.
MSGM Men’s Spring 2018: The youthful, upbeat collection confirmed Massimo Giorgetti’s status as a key player in Milan’s new guard.
Versace Men’s Spring 2018: It was vintage Versace through the Millennial lens, and those who are already fans won’t be let down. But there could have been so much more.