“Coding, decoding, recoding”: The past and the present met today at Fendi, both in terms of the archival colours and pieces Silvia Venturini Fendi had looked at and brought completely up to date with her innate ability to splice vintage-odd with the now, but also how glamorous mid-century travel collided with today’s industrial get-from-A-to-B-as-painlessly-as-possible mentality. Fendi’s airport definitely pushed stress-free travel. “Yes, yes, which is what it was meant to,” Venturini Fendi said. Here’s what went down at the show.
THE VENUE WAS TRANSFORMED INTO AN AIRPORT
We were at the Fendi terminal, in a time warp mashup somewhere between the 60s and now. At the end of a runway, an arrivals board declared flights coming in from Family, Freedom and Fabulous, while all sorts of Fendi-fied luggage went past on the conveyor belt in the middle of the runway: a fuzzy monogram folded pram, a violin case, taped cardboard boxes, all with the Fendi monogram. Cut-and-paste imagery lit up the belt’s advertising boxes: a horse standing on a block of cheese or a frying pan with a football with a snail on top. So far so lols, and seemingly building on SS18’s homage to normality incorporating Sue Tilley’s everyday objects.
THERE WAS A COLLAB WITH IG ARTIST HEY REILLY
Ironically, Reilly worried he was going to get sued by Fendi at first when Silvia started reposting his “comedy rock-on” logo mashups on Instagram. So when the call came to work together, he was quite surprised. “Like winning the lottery!” was how he described it to us backstage. Simply given the Fendi logo and told to “‘just go berserk, go bananas,” they didn’t change one thing in the finished looks. Elsewhere, he did all the collage imagery in the show, from the invitation to the luggage reclaim signs, t-shirts and several full look prints. “I love him,” Silvia said. “And I think we share his sense of irony. He picked words that are important for us.”
THE COLLECTION WAS A HYPER-LUXE ODE TO COMFORT AND NORMALITY
Turns out elasticated waistbands don’t equal giving up. The Fendi appreciation for the every day wasn’t just seen in Reilly’s work, but in the way Silvia had reworked “very, very simple, very comfortable” shapes in things like cashmere and mink, and done reversible pieces for ease of packing. “All the pants are adjustable with elasticated waists and you can adjust them like baby clothes. And especially when you travel, you want to be comfortable.” Sexy-wrong rubber also popped up, an ode to our antibacterial freak travel ways.
THE OLD SCHOOL FENDI MONOGRAM WAS EVERYWHERE
In mahogany and beige – and lots of caramel, brown checks too in general, also with some next-level furs. “It's really a work on the Fendi identity,” Silvia explained backstage, pointing out a picture of the first store her grandparents opened on the mood board with a storefront advertising umbrellas and luggage. She had also looked to an iconic, all-brown graphic mink coat Karl Lagerfeld designed in the 70s “I love (this). It’s the first unlined fur he made. I kinda took the lines and worked on it. And it's very, very Fendi whatever it means. It's quintessentially Fendi.”