“It’s deconstructed but luxurious,” said Kim Jones of Fendi’s fall 2023 collection. “There’s a little nod to punk but moved on towards something chic.” For inspiration, Jones looked close to home, zooming in on the sartorial particulars of Delfina Delettrez Fendi, jeweller and daughter of Silvia Venturini Fendi. That casual inspection revealed her unique mix of colour palettes, charming Jones via mashups of brown and pale blue. The rest is history: realised in a highly tailored collection that plays up these colourways in utilitarian shapes and contrasting fluid lines.
In his way, Jones offered up an adultified uniform. The show began with a pale blue cardigan, its buttons transforming into a mock-tie, paired with a knee-length leather skirt. Soon after, he sent down a reciprocal look: a sheer, collared long-sleeve in the same shade of blue, worn underneath a sleeveless leather dress, styled schoolgirl-like. What followed were a series of workwear looks that riffed on masculine utility with a feminine edge; lead grey waistcoats with cutaways at the shoulders, pleated kilts in cloud grey leather layered over coordinating pants, and tailored trousers with a twist, attached to cape-like skirts that slung out from the back.
It made for an interesting subversion of gender norms, but not as we’ve seen before. Lace lingerie dresses were pressed onto crisp white shirts, while classical mackintosh styles in sand colours were playfully lined with gold sequins. Scattered throughout the collection were rib-knit dresses with mock necks in chocolate browns, tans and taupes as well as a hint of velvet via midnight blue and forest green skirts, which complemented the concluding looks—more ribbed-knit dresses—this time in magenta and red.
A special call-out to a new debut: Fendi’s Multi bag, which transforms from tote to evening bag to adapt throughout the day to every woman’s changing needs, made its first appearance on the runway. No doubt it will soon take up pride of place alongside the belongings of the brand’s loyalists, next to their Baguettes and Peekaboos.