It’s the idea of a pleasant and romantic stroll through the streets of Rome that makes its way into the collection, where the ordinary is amplified and becomes extraordinary; like when in a particularly fascinating city you pretend to be in a film while listening to your favorite soundtrack in your earphones. Kim Jones gives the desire for ambition: wearing clothes means telling your story to passers-by, weaving it into others until the personal and casual style reflects the inner world of the wearer. In fact, it’s the Italian tradition and the harmony of shapes that characterize the stylistic choices presented in an everyday yet well-rooted way in the construction of the product, a quality that has always been intrinsic to the brand that will soon celebrate one hundred years of history. Kim Jones’ proposals explore the ease of dressing a certain Roman freedom, where imperfection becomes a human sensibility and where sophistication is found in the comfort and quiet confidence that clothes and accessories give to themselves. As if FENDI’s SS24 collaborated to build a vision for the Italian woman’s wardrobe, that is, to communicate that taste for the concrete and reassuring simplicity of everyday life.
“In Rome, there is an elegance in nonchalance and not caring what others think: this is true luxury. I wanted to reflect that in this collection. It’s about women dressing for themselves and for their lives.”
There is therefore a sense of duality that permeates the collection. A balance to be found between comfort and research, between feminine and masculine. The clothes are pragmatic and playful, the tailoring and masculine materials, such as fine kid mohair, are applied to a more fluid and feminine sensibility when combined with silk and knitwear. An overcoat finds a feminine echo in shoes with a metal ankle strap and a practical studded bottom used for ease and grip. In short, masculine utility and comfort are fused with a feminine touch, with the wearer’s agency in mind. The bags of Silvia Venturini Fendi, Artistic Director Accessories and Menswear, parade in various sizes, materials and techniques, eschewing the idea of a single habitual model. The collection in this sense plays with Fendi’s codes, taking up the iconography of the Peekaboo, Baguette, Origami and First bags, but at the same time introducing the new Flip, a shopper that folds into a clutch, constructed from blocks of colour. Here too, as if to reiterate that there is not just one FENDI woman.
“It is not about the spectacle of being watched, but about the reality of wearing and the security and chic that comes with it. It’s not about being something, it’s about being somebody.”
The work done on the extravagant colour palette is itself a signature, much of it taken from Karl Lagerfeld’s 1999 Spring/Summer women’s collection for the Maison, where key garments such as the acid yellow slip and the traditional curtain belt of tailored trousers are also found and reworked, here folded to reveal its construction. At the same time, FENDI’s past is made present by recurring codes and motifs dating back to the Maison’s beginnings, such as the Selleria thread that links all categories, from bags to leather garments, and then turns into a metallic thread on shoes finally reiterated in the Filo jewellery by Delfina Delettrez Fendi, Artistic Director of FENDI Jewellery. Here the playful and abstract culmination of the FF logo’s exploration finds place. At the conclusion of this imaginary stroll through the streets of Rome, going beyond the Trevi Fountain and finding oneself on Milan Fashion Week’s catwalk, one sees the iconic Fendi bags rise monumentally; a scenography that Jones gives to the spectators as if to once again narrate the idyllic and contemplative atmosphere of Rome, the eternal city.
“When I am in Rome, every day I walk from the hotel to the Colosseum wearing my ear pods. It’s like listening to a soundtrack to an imaginary film with FENDI characters I see along the way.”