Continuity and contrast were the dual themes of the Fendi Spring/Summer 2023 show, demonstrated by soft satins and strict tailoring.
Fendi has long been the venture between shared visions: the OG Fendi sisters Paola, Anna, Franca, Carla, and Alda; Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi; and now Kim Jones and Silvia. Recently, we’ve been treated to the addition of a younger voice. Delfina Delettrez, Silvia’s daughter, has been a rising influence at the house of Fendi and designs its jewelry and hardware (and recently designed its first-ever high jewelry collection). This throuple of design participants proves that Jones – from his collabs with Marc Jacobs, Kim Kardashian, and Versace – plays well with others.
With the three in conversation for the makings of Fendi’s Spring/Summer 2023 show, it feels like we’re bearing witness to a family dialogue. In continuity from the Fall/Winter 2022 show, which saw a wellspring of Y2k moments resurrected from the house’s early aughts shows (particularly Spring/Summer 2000), this collection leaned into references to Fendi’s past collections between 1996 and 2002. Strange to think we’re over 20 years away from this launch point, and yet today’s collection feels as fresh as ever.
A study in contrasts, the show commenced with a variety of satins and knits, paired together and beefed up with sturdy leather bags embossed with huge metallic Fendi logos and thick wedge-soled boots and sandals (some trimmed in fur). “Adding heavy hardware to something very soft both gives it real functionality and makes it interesting,” Jones shared in the show notes. But where logomania has reached its zenith of late, the logos at Fendi were more subtle this time around. For instance, they were barely noticeable on Delettrez’s jewelry designs, which she created intentionally so that “the logo almost disappears into functional architecture suspending each stone.”
Logos blended into footwear by way of embossing, and the clothes were given an ephemeral wash of branding on gauzy fabrics. Only a few bold slashes of FENDI remained. Otherwise, things were light and soft, elegantly wrapped in obi belts that looped through cut-outs at the side of tops and jackets. Pants, as the early aughts references suggest, were low-slung at the hip and done in sumptuous satins (cargos are officially back!); they were paired with plush knit tops. Nothing about the collection felt rigid or fussy.
Contrast also came by way of insouciant longline silhouettes bound with precise tailoring.While we touched on the juxtaposition of hardware and tailoring versus soft fabrics, another contrasting moment came by way of the collection’s color palette. It moved from soft greiges and dawn sky colors to pops of fluoro green and Barbie pink. Some of these colors were combined on single looks, like a sheer slip dress decorated in a splattering of neon green ivy and a double FF logo. Satin dresses paraded out toward the end of the show, each exquisitely draped, some cut along the bias, and others cut in columns. Some peeled away at the hip to reveal an embroidered interior (as in the case of Nora Attal’s gorgeous grass-green look), and others bore halter necks. Grounded by lead-footed wedges and bold bags, the styling suggested a youthful outlook. Fendi nailed its archival references. If we’re going to keep recycling the aughts, let it at least be an upcycle.