Artistic director Kim Jones dedicated his autumn/winter 2023 Fendi collection to a muse: Delfina Delettrez Fendi, a fourth generation member of the family who serves as the house’s creative director for jewellry. Anders Christian Madsen shares five things to know about the collection.
The show set featured a tunnel of lights
There was something celestial about the tunnel of laser-like lights Kim Jones projected through Fendi’s mile-long runway room in Milan this season. The house’s Roman relationship between the ancient and the futuristic is an ongoing treat for Jones, a sci-fi fan who revels in analysing and interpreting this instinctive culture of the Fendi family. “Delfina is a muse for me,” he said in a preview, referring to Delfina Delettrez Fendi, who also serves as creative director of jewellery at the house. Once again, he dedicated the collection to her wardrobe. And as his models arrived through the illuminated tunnel – to the opening theme from Twin Peaks – they felt like his Roman sci-fi goddesses.
Kim Jones dedicated the collection to Delfina Delettrez Fendi
Jones described Delettrez’s look as a combination between chicness and perversity, a pairing he expressed in twisted classics – literally and figuratively – like knitwear, blazers and pleated skirts. If they had a certain sex appeal, it was amplified by plenty of strict leather pieces, from little dresses to lace-up boots and kilts. “It’s looking at little twisted things that are kind of perverse,” Jones said, gesturing at a trouser with a buckle strapped across its crotch. Asked how he practically approaches the adaptation of the heiress’s clothes, Jones said a visit to her private wardrobe is on the agenda. But so far, “She comes in with stuff, I just steal it.”
The collection drew on details from Fendi’s haute couture
Jones imbued his collection with elements from his haute couture: an everyday mac lined in not-so-everyday sequins, or shirting morphed with lace camisoles that nodded to his January show. “It’s really clear Fendi codes and that’s what it’s about. It’s capturing that elegant, chic, sophisticated Fendi woman,” he said. “I’m thinking about the future and looking at the things that work for us, which are tailoring, knitwear and dresses. It’s taking all those elements and putting them into a collection.” Sometimes he code-switched those components, like in dresses constructed in very light tailoring fabrics that contributed to an overall sartorial atmosphere throughout the collection.
Jones took inspiration from a 1996 Karl Lagerfeld dress
In May, the Metropolitan Museum in New York will unveil its Karl Lagerfeld spectacular. But while Jones is involved in proceedings, he said his approach to Fendi is becoming more and more family-focused: “The next three collections, there’s not really any Karl in them. It’s there but it’s ever-present. You have to think about the Fendi family. They are the people who really count in the end.” This time, only one archival Lagerfeld dress inspired the collection: a knitted column dress from 1996 with a single stripe down the side. “I thought it was nice to have that line,” Jones explained.
There were two new bags
The collection introduced two new bags designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi: a multipurpose bag named, well, Multi, and the handbag C’Mon. “I think what is really nice is the movement of the bag, that it can be two things in one. That duality is very Fendi, as is the idea of something which appears simple but, in reality, is very complex,” she said of the former. As for the latter: “The idea was to create pieces that were very pure in order to match the sophistication of the collection.”