There’s no shortage of chic women in the Fendi family—from the five sisters who took over the business founded by their mother and father through to the next two generations which followed—which means that current Fendi artistic director Kim Jones has the luxury of choice when it comes to picking a muse.
For fall 2023, he found inspiration in how fourth-generation Fendi and jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez styles her family’s fashion line. “It’s deconstructed, but luxurious. There’s a little nod to punk, and my admiration for DIY, but moved on towards something chic,” Jones stated in his show notes. “The first day that Delfina walked into work, she was wearing blue and brown, and I thought she looked so great. There’s a chicness but a perversity to the way she twists Fendi, which is what I love.”
Jones carried the lingerie-inspired pieces over from his spring 2023 haute couture collection for the brand—but here, they received a more masculine makeover, building delicate, lace-edged tanks into structured white button-downs and layering lacquered styles with pinstriped pleated skirts cut to reveal a slash of leg. Texture play was essential, with Jones layering leather minidresses over chiffon polo shirts for a subversive take on schoolgirl dressing.
Uniforms were a recurring motif, whether in the cut of a satin skirt suit or in the zips on a woven boilersuit. But again, there was an almost fetish undercurrent to some of the pieces, like the lace-up, thigh-high leather boots. The knitwear, a Fendi staple, veered sensual, too: Turtlenecks just thinly woven enough to reveal a hint of bra underneath, cardigan dresses unbuttoned nearly to the hip, V-neck sweaters with straps that twisted delicately around the neck. Naturally, Delettrez herself designed the jewelry for the show, including earrings which interlock the Fendi double-F logo over the ear.
Playing with the same ideas driving the ready-to-wear, Silvia Venturini Fendi created a new handbag style, dubbed the Multi. As the name might suggest, the accessory can swap between two different silhouettes, folding from a daytime-ready tote to an evening-worthy bag. “I think what is really nice is the movement of the bag, that it can be two things in one,” she said. “That duality is very Fendi—as is the idea of something which appears simple but, in reality, is very complex.” Certainly, that designation could be applied to the Fendi fall 2023 collection at large: ladylike, with hints of subversion built in for those who know where to look.