Spring 2021 Ready to Wear

Pictures by Fendi


Silvia Venturini Fendi Makes Time Stand Still With Daydreams and Family History

Fendi opened Milan Fashion Week with a live runway and a distantly sat audience who couldn’t have been happier to be in attendance. Street style blogs were firing away, influencers were decked out in archival Fendi, posing for cameras for the first time in months. The room was buzzing with energy as the fashion crowd salivated for the beauty that Silvia Venturini Fendi was sure to deliver. The news had recently broken that Fendi was to be joined by Dior Menswear designer Kim Jones next season, as he will take over the Ready to Wear, Haute Couture, and Furrier departments, while Fendi will stay on as the menswear and accessories designer. While we are big fans of Mr. Jones and excited to see what he will do with women’s wear, we are also disappointed to see Fendi step aside. After the death of previous Fendi designer, Karl Lagerfeld, Ms. Fendi stepped in and debuted a femme fatale collection last season that included models of different age, race, and size. It felt new and refreshing for the storied Italian house to be headed by a woman, and she came out swinging. This season, the Fendi woman has been softened by months of quarantine. Fendi spent time reflecting on the past and her family heritage while gazing out of her windows and collecting photographs that have been reproduced as prints throughout this collection. 

Edie Campbell opened the show in a light as air, sheer ombré shirt dress with a subtle hint of shadow pattern from Fendi’s window photographs. Underneath was a faded blue quilted bodysuit with a mock turtleneck and long sleeves joining with matching blue hand gloves. The photograph patterns continued in a similar breezy fashion until Yasmin Le Bon appeared in a brown ombré leather coat dress with an open neckline and matching handbag. Linen suits for men and women appeared in a similarly relaxed style, everything slightly slouched and oversized for comfort and ease, until Vittoria Ceretti appeared in a fitted white day dress with side cutouts and a wide brim white visor looking every bit like an Italian mistress here to steal your father’s wealth. Penelope Tree and Mark Vanderloo walked separately, but both in black midriff-baring ensembles. Ashley Graham made her Fendi runway debut in a sheer shadow flower print dress atop a black bodysuit; and finally, the show came to a conclusion with Mona Tougaard and Mica Arganaraz in wonderful white puffer ensembles, the latter appearing as if she wrapped her bed comforter around her figure and wore it out like a cape. Fendi included these looks as an ode to Lagerfeld, who loved bed linens. 

Silvia Venturini Fendi has stepped out of Lagerfeld’s long-reaching shadow in just a few seasons and elevated the Fendi image to a more modern, feminine brand. It was refreshing to see such diverse runways in Italy, which can sometimes cling to old ideas, especially in fashion houses run by men. Here is hope that Kim Jones will continue the thread that Fendi has laced for him, and that working together we will see a new era for Fendi brought to life. 

Written by Elizabeth Kramsky


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