The FENDI Fall/Winter 2021-22 collection designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi is an optimistic adventure framed within a game of illusions. A cinematic sequence directed by the Italian artist Nico Vascellari sets the scene for ‘What Is Normal Today?’ – an exclusive dance-pop track composed by Not Waving ft. Silvia Venturini Fendi. Appearing inside an immersive 360° mirrored tunnel, models are infinitely multiplied whilst entirely alone, as a maze of suspended doorways is framed in colored neon beneath the pulsating ceiling of a futuristic music video.
The scenography, composed of light and floating white curtains, reflections and shadows, reproduces an intimate and familiar environment. A digital “window” projected through the wall reveals a glimpse of the outside world, where a blue and candidly cloudy sky meets the Maison’s Headquarters, Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome. The Collection, where natural shades of wheat, milk and honey are punctuated by touches of sky blue and cardinal red, is worn by a multifaceted cast of models, including Mariacarla Boscono, Jill Kortleve, Estelle Chen, Henry Kitcher and Chun Soot.
One by one, a broad spectrum of menswear classics is twisted with FENDI playfulness, emerging from darkness into full Technicolor. The result is an unabashed celebration of color and light, and a universal message of solidarity and connection in Surreal times. A jewel palette sees emerald, vermillion, saffron, orange, fuchsia, cobalt and periwinkle color-blocked against black, camel and charcoal, as linings, inlays and slashed seams flash with contrasting textures and shades.
Throughout the collection, multifunctionality and form unite in reversible workwear and relaxed outerwear silhouettes. Belted overcoat and trench shapes in cashmere flannel, satin, striped fur and shearling are infused with a cozy peignoir attitude, and piped pajama hemlines bring the indoors out and the outdoors in. Diagonal quilting inflates all manner of silk jacquard separates from a shawl collar lounge coat to pullovers, shirt jackets and bermuda shorts in a luxuriant expression of cocooning comfort, and ‘inside-out’ tailoring features deconstructed panels that expose padded FF logo linings. The conventions of ribbed and cable knitting are reimagined as long johns, cardigan scarves, mitten cuffs, and a wrapped ‘sleeve’ neck sweater for a weird and wonderful take on the ‘new normal’.
An icon of the London underground scene, the multidisciplinary artist and performer Noel Fielding provides a series of psychedelic artworks for the collection, abstracting the FENDI logo and emphasizing the season’s cosmic spirit through his multicolored, stream-of-consciousness scribble art. Faces and creatures emerge straight out of Fielding’s dreamscape narrative accenting the collection’s straightforward silhouette with moments of Art Brut insanity. Fielding’s outré pop sensibility is the latest evolution in Silvia Venturini Fendi’s playful selection of artistic collaborators, that has previously included British artists John Booth, @HeyReilly and Sue Tilley, to name a few.