This season saw Fendi embrace the boxy look. The new shape was a nod to the strength inherent in the brand’s vision of a modern woman. Sleeves were sculpturally rendered in long, rectangular form. Cropped wool and fur capes and puffer jacket styles packaged outfits in. Shoulders were exaggerated and square.
On the softer side were tea dresses in cotton and silk. These were said to be an ode to the elegance of a lady’s handkerchief. Though I’m not sure about the handkerchief in question, the dresses delivered a sense of whimsy and bohemia. A palette of blush pinks and ivories and embroidery detailing emphasised this too. Immediately after came tight and structured navy jumpsuits, and I wondered if the Fendi woman can be both kinds of heroine.
Fendi relied on logos often, which was a shame as the best bits of the show were when the tailoring could speak for itself. This was especially true in the coats, where the design shone. A patent Prince of Wales check trench with pleats at the bottom demonstrated a dream hybrid of geometric design and flounce. A recurring crisscrossed belt was an elegant and compelling addition throughout the collection. A cropped camel coat married the belt and pleats together, the latter confidently swinging across the models’ hip. If only the top half of the coat hadn’t been hidden under a boxy fur cape.
Controversial as it may be, the use of fur suits Fendi; and they remain very good at it. A/W 18 not only offered indigo fur with shearling sleeves but also branded fur sweatshirts, logo-print scarves and a two-piece fur suit (short skirt on the bottom) - which was arguably the highlight of the show, though wearing it anywhere outside of Milan seems highly implausible.
Three final looks felt especially out of place. A monochrome fringed poncho baring a diamond print came from nowhere and felt like a strange afterthought. This was followed by Edie Campbell in a broad-shouldered, academic gown. Adwoa Aboah closed the show in a box shouldered velvet cape with delicately embroidered circles on the back. The three final looks felt very sixties, and more than a few decades out of place.
With moments of perfect harmony, the Fendi aesthetic continues to coalesce and solidify. The challenge is finding their main audience: the search continues.