Fendi Men's Fall/Winter 2019: The Interplay Of Powerful Personal Polarity
Silvia Venturini Fendi hopes to bring formality back to menswear – but with a twist. “Today, the most subversive style is tailoring, to see young kids in a suit and tie,” said the creative director of men’s and accessories of the namesake Roman luxury heritage house backstage in Milan.
That’s why Venturini Fendi turned to her ideal embodiment of suiting, Karl Lagerfeld, to bring that vision to life. The German designer, who serves as the creative director of women’s at Fendi, joined the family-founded house in 1965.
“Dualism is in the DNA of Fendi, under every form,” explained the menswear designer, and the design duo’s concept was clear from the get-go.
The first look – based on an initial sketch by Lagerfeld – set the tone (also literally, in beige) for the entire collection. The show’s opener was an exquisitely tailored suit, the jacket with a shawl collar on one side and a lapel on the other. The design was repeated on topcoats, too.
This dichotomy found itself presented through different designs – on knitwear and leather pieces split functionally in half by zippers, and the more visually driven two-toned parkas, jackets and intarsia furs finding dualism in either combinations of black, brown and beige. The more than usual inclusion of black in men’s Fendi a definite nod to Lagerfeld.
Also notable, the shift from transparent fabrics to shinier organza, and the polarity of the past and future, represented by a calligraphic monogram alternated with a futuristic FF logo.
References to Venturini Fendi and Lagerfeld’s relationship is expressed explicitly in the clothing, with collages of handwritten notes, sketches and mementoes from the latter seen on items like trenches, puffers and bags, adding an element of modernity to offset any idea of stuffy suiting.
This effort is clear in the exceptional new (Lagerfeld-inspired) offering of accessories – gold chains, medallions and signet rings – that certainly add an aspect of trendy youthfulness.
With Venturini Fendi at the helm, it was inevitable that men would be introduced to the Italian brand's iteration of the Baguette bag. (The designer first debuted the bag for women in the late ’90s, winning her the 2000 Fashion Group International Award for Accessories).
The men’s version – designed in collaboration with leading Japanese luggage-maker Porter-Yoshida & Co. – is as functional as it is good-looking: it can be worn as a belt or cross-body bag, or carried by hand, and is available in various sizes and fabrics (including the classic croc, mink and Selleria leather).
To Fendi we say: mission (more than) accomplished.