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Fendi AW20 23
Backstage at Fendi AW20Photography Giacomo Cabrini

Fendi just dropped a UV colour-changing coat for AW20

The Italian label debuted its latest, dystopian future-facing menswear collection at Milan Fashion Week this afternoon

Where last season Fendi touted a watering can as its accessory du jour and took attendees on a journey through a sunshine-dappled garden at its SS20 show, when it came to AW20 the revered Italian label had its sights set firmly on the (likely dystopian) future we're all facing, and, more specifically, the uniform the Fendi man will be wearing in the years to come. 

What exactly did that entail? Something Silvia Venturini dubbed ‘the new normal’, which translated to a back-to-basics approach that reimagined archival Fendi signatures anew: oversized coats were turned inside-out so the seams showed, pinstripe suit jackets and trousers featured detachable panels which allow the wearer to tailor their tailoring accordingly (sorry), and knee-length and floor-sweeping column skirts were paired with puffer jackets and refined cashmere and wool knits.

Accessories came in the form of chunky, loose gauge wool scarves and hand-knitted, logo emblazoned bags that looked like something your granny could have knocked up with her needles, a plethora of tech-focused pouches and pockets, classic, boxy suitcases, and blown-up leather iterations of the iconic yellow Fendi shopping bag (which no one needs to know you’re carrying your Tesco big shop in, obvs). 

The pièce de résistance, though, came during the presentation’s finale, when models wearing all-white looks stopped at various points along the runway before rings of techy-looking UV lights were lowered from the ceiling, travelling the length of their bodies. When they were subsequently raised, the looks had been transformed to become yellow and grey, as the photochromic materials the items were crafted from reacted to the light. It was, Venturini explained backstage, a study of how fabrications and the clothes we wear will be affected as the seasons continue to shift and skew: in this instance, by the relentless sunshine that comes with each summer's rapidly rising, record-breaking temperatures.