Kim Jones’s ready-to-wear debut for Fendi was probably the most-hyped show of the Fall 2021 season. Jones had already given the world a first glimpse at his vision for Fendi last month, with his Virginia Woolf-inspired couture collection—but the RTW offering was rooted more firmly in the house’s Italian heritage, a modernised play on the brand’s 96-year archive.
Like the couture collection, models wove through giant ‘F’ shaped vestibules—though this time memorabilia from the literary ‘Bloomsbury’ set was replaced with sculptures reminiscent of Roman ruins. This earthy, marble colour palette was an ongoing theme throughout the collection, which whipped through the whole spectrum of tonal shades, starting with taupes and caramels, moving through ivories, blushes, chocolates, and ending with three head-to-toe black looks.
Dramatic shearling and fur coats (the latter upcycled from the atelier’s archive) were among the most recognisable nods to Jones’ predecessor Karl Lagerfeld, who served as Fendi’s creative director for a remarkable 54 years before his death in 2019. Silvia Venturini Fendi—who served as creative director of womenswear during the intervening two years and continues to helm Fendi menswear—also influenced the collection. Jones referenced her menswear-skewed personal aesthetic with loose, oversized silk shirting and utilitarian leather jumpsuits.
Jones’s personal touches were evident throughout—from the sheer logo tights to the handkerchief hemlines, through to the satin suiting that often appears in his menswear collections
Jones’s personal touches were evident throughout—from the sheer logo tights to the handkerchief hemlines, through to the satin suiting that often appears in his menswear collections. The collection felt like a looser take on Fendi house codes—an idea confirmed by the appearance of fluid bias-cut slip dresses, ribbed knit bralettes, and paperbag shorts. Accessories were a major talking point too, an oversized fur-lined tote is destined to be Jones’ first major handbag hit, as are the chinky chainlink earrings designed by Delfina Delettrez.
Jones is still working closely with Silvia, who has been guiding her new protégé through the family’s 70,000-piece strong archive, and his unique vision for Fendi will only continue to grow each season. If Fall21 is anything to go by, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.