In the wake of one of the most defining men's seasons in recent years, the Fendi Fall Winter 2017-2018 menswear show was released yesterday morning. The show was energetic, colourful, and strategically minimalistic. Silvia Venturini Fendi, granddaughter of founders Adele and Edoardo Fendi, took over accessories and Menswear in 1994. Until this year, the designer has quite passively been maintaining an uneventful continuation of the commonplace role of a menswear line. Besides the occasional bursts of playful femininity or eccentric colour blocking, the collections never transcended traditional shapes and colour schemes. This season however, the brand entered a new era.
2 years ago, Gucci's collections were being overseen by creative director Frida Giannini, who served for eight years. Towards the end of her time at Gucci however, the industry became quite bored with her designs, seeing them as unoriginal reworks of Gucci's collections from past decades. Her Menswear especially didn't go beyond muted sweaters and tasteful cashmere peacoats. That same year , her second in command Alessandro Michele took over her role and completely revamped both divisions. Even in Michele's very first show, he featured the classic pussy bow blouse, and in a moment that foreshadowed what would define his time at Gucci, he showed that same blouse on the male models as well. Gucci has had incredible success since its investment into their menswear line and they have inspired many brands to follow. This season, Fendi joined the bandwagon and finally brought the same energetic design as they bring to their womenswear to their menswear. This shift has defined this season of menswear and has left a lovely precedent for more brands to also recognize the value of this unsaturated market.
Venturini described her collection as being "defined by simplicity and practicality, but with a fresh and daring design in energetic colours." In my opinion, this collection is by far the most spectacular of this menswear season. It's clear something is truly remarkable when even the brand themselves say that their collection finds its foundation through simplicity and practicality, yet as each look walks the runway, you are continuously intrigued, surprised, and interested. This comes down to one thing, that thing being what defines the house of Fendi when it comes to styling, colour blocking. Far too often, especially in established fashion houses, the muted colour palette doesn't necessarily add to the already drab silhouettes. In this show however, from the shearling slides, to the socked loafers and boots, and from the neon knitwear illusion, to the elevated pastel joggers, energy defined the collection.
By far my favourite part of the collection is the use of graphics and typography. Fendi is not a gimmicky brand like Moschino, which is precisely why Venturini elevated the technique in a superb fashion. The typographic zippers and key chains are absolutely incredible. This is where I think the use of colour is truly crucial. The way the she has styled these so called gimmicks is what allows them to match the polished nature of the colour blocked garments they're paired with. I'll have to keep my eyes open for when this collection will release for sale, but at the moment, a pink fitted knitwear piece with a bright Fendi zipper is at the top of my shopping list.