It was a cool summer over at Fendi for S/S 17. David Hockey's adored, and much referenced, A Bigger Splash came to life before us.) The usual fur (last time fake) runway had been replaced with a shallow pool around which models strolled as if on holiday (side note: no one fell. Models and water can be a bad combination as anyone who frequents the 'models falling over' section of YouTube can acknowledge). At the end of the runway, a diving board hammered home the Hockney reference.
So what of the clothes? Well one also thought of the painter. He was, after all, a stylish man. His love of colour came through in the cheerful palette and stripes. His own fabulous wardrobe, seemed to inform the dandyish spirit and vaguely camp elements. This is the second runaway show we've seen in Italy that both draws on the work of an artist and also mimics his personal appearance. At the Pitti trade show in Florence, Raf Simons both borrowed from the Robert Mapplethorpe archive, plastering and turned his models into Robert-alikes with curls and leathers. Silvia Venturini Fendi's take on an artist tribute act was more playful, more silly, more light. This was about summer ease (see that shaggy green fur which called to mind bare feet in lush grash). That effortlessness came through in the focus on reversibles - everything from hats to coats could be turned inside out for a totally new garment - perfect for a light packer. Fendi is a brand that plays the humour card well. It's hard to do without creating collections that are either facile or awkward. This season the humour translated as optimism, punch and spirit. All things the luxury market could use right now. This was their strongest collection to date. A big splash from Fendi for S/S 17.