Remember the Fred Astaire-ish guy in his tailcoat tuxedo and bow tie who closed Fendi’s fall 2022 show? He’s embraced his hippie side for spring 2023.
Time in fashion flies by and in the span of a few months, Silvia Venturini Fendi flipped the narrative that charmingly celebrated the tropes of a classic wardrobe into one exalting clothes for one’s free time.
Moved by a desire for freedom and simplicity, she delivered a beautiful collection imbued with a fresh sense of ease and a bohemian vibe, accentuated with crafty details.
After barely a full day of shows in Milan, this breezy message is set to define the season’s overarching tone, with many brands — from Dsquared2 to MSGM — also embracing this carefree attitude, often exemplified by surfer or skater lifestyles. It’s a reasonable reaction to the pandemic, which made people reconsider their priorities, more and more untangling their identities from their jobs to tie them to their passions instead.
“We’re returning to life and regaining control of our time. So this is a collection dedicated to this desire of spare time, because we all discovered that we like to spend it cultivating ourselves and our interests,” said Venturini Fendi ahead of the show.
In the designer’s hands, this still resulted in an elevated and luxurious wardrobe, but one with a casual, lived-in and sun-soaked appearance.
Denim, “the fabric that for me best represents this sense of freedom,” said Venturini Fendi, played a big role. Wide-legged pants, Bermuda pants, oversized shirts and even the Fendi Baguette bag were crafted from frayed denim, channeling nonchalance.
In her quest for ease, Venturini Fendi didn’t simplify the process, only the outcome. Many pieces demanded a closer look to reveal their true nature, like trompe l’oeil effects mimicking denim on reversible cotton shirts or a standout zippered jacket made of shearling strips.
This attention to detail turned into a subtle flair for eccentricity through little embroideries and beads on shirts and polos. The artisanal touches — which extended to footwear in fringed moccasins and new, must-have sneakers — were juxtaposed with high-tech treatments, such as an ultrasound seamless bonding on a lightweight raincoat.
Venturini Fendi’s work on silhouettes was likewise interesting, as she cut tiny slits on shoulders of coats or deconstructed tailoring with openings on the sides or zippers to create more airy volumes.
Accessories offered an array of options ranging from tiny denim Peekaboo bags to a new bucket bag with the name of the house wrapped around it.
A logoed skater stole this charming show, filled with clothes everyone would like to spend time in.