The past becomes the future for Fendi S/S 23 womenswear as artistic director Kim Jones draws on the Italian heritage brand's history while continually developing the signature codes he has also established as Karl Lagerfeld's successor at the house. Noting Lagerfeld's legacy, the late designer's Fendi work from 1996 to 2002 offers a starting point for this collection, one that has clearly aged well with time due to its distinctly contemporary nature.
'What is particularly interesting to me about Fendi is exploring the notion of functional utility alongside femininity – because the Fendi women are strong women with full, busy lives,' Jones commented. 'It's about continuity', he elaborates; 'I am interested in looking at things that Karl has done and seeing how we can develop them – both visually and technically.'
To bring this 'continuity' aspect, Jones so dutifully notes of, to life, a floral print drawn from the Fendi archives - along with a logo first introduced in 2000 - anchor the collection both in the past and present as they are reimagined for today. Millennium-inspired style colliding 'minimalist ease with pop-infused eclecticism shines bright here as layers of organza, and nylon jersey are adapted to fit the modern customer. A neutral palette is interrupted with vibrant pinks, blues and greens in typical Kim Jones for Fendi style as these colours make their way onto organic textures, including cashmere, fur, shearling and leather.
'We are working with the rigid and the soft,' clarifies Italian designer and jeweller (and not to mention heir to the Fendi empire) Delfina Delettrez Fendi. With these signatures flowing freely through to the womenswear accessories also, it's worth mentioning the Peekaboo bag has become one of the season's key designs, now sliced in half to reveal its mechanisms. Elsewhere, a steel F falls through the body of a bag to become its handle as 'even the bags become part of a family: big and small' adds Donna Venturini Fendi. If one thing is certain about this S/S 23 womenswear collection, it's unmistakably Fendi.