VMAN29

ARTICLE CHRISTOPHER BARNARD

PHOTOGRAPHY STEVIE WESTGARTH / MEL BLES

CREDITS ARTICLE CONTENTS

AZURE THING

THE VIDEO: CHRISTOPHER OWENS

FORMS OF FENDI

EXTRA CREDITS

Hair Sofia Sjoo using Bumble & Bumble (Billy & Bo)  Grooming Anne-Sophie Costa using Chanel A/W12 and Rouge Allure Renovation  Model Shane Gibson (Storm)  Digital technician David Imms (Spring Digital)  Photo assistants Olin Brannigan and Daniel Cuifo  Retouching Dave Phoenix (Bespoke)  Casting Eddy Martin (File and Parade) 

MORE TO LOVE

POWERHOUSE: DOVER STREET MARKET (LONDON) REED KRAKOFF WEARS MANY COATS SHOP ALL WEEKEND GIRLS OF NOW: CHARLI XCX

FORMS OF FENDI

PHOTOGRAPHY STEVIE WESTGARTH / MEL BLES
TEXT CHRISTOPHER BARNARD



Last June, in a gleaming tower above the city of Milan, Silvia Venturini Fendi showed her vision of the future with a coolly modern portrait of the young, style-minded man who has an eye for something slick and perhaps a bit daffy. Her idea for what men should be wearing next Spring is quirky, ranging from the mad scientist in his lab to the club kid decked out in prismatic prints and finishes, and as always the accessories are the thing. “The Fendi man is futuristic,” she says, “but very attentive to high quality materials and traditions from the past.” Eel, shark, and lizard came to life in boxy cases slung on thin straps, more reminiscent of stacking cubes or tool kits than of the usual portfolio or messenger bag. In recent seasons Fendi has developed a healthy tolerance for the idiosyncratic in both the men’s and women’s collections. This year the approach to fur and skins, for which the brand is deservedly renowned, is nothing short of revolutionary: hiding these materials inside a shirt collar or pant cuff constitutes a supremely dramatic departure from the It Bag and mink-swathed doyenne that built the brand in the last century. “A structured bag is more functional for the traveling Fendi man,” she says. 

There is in this collection an orientation to the artisanal that feels like both an homage to Italian craftsmanship and a willful disobedience of its dictums, everything anarchic but nonetheless exquisitely executed. It steers clear of anything too kooky with a devotion to textiles, leaving the wearer comfortable in the clothing and yet fashion-forward. The creams and deep turquoise indigos of the season bring to mind an underground lab in Palm Beach, perhaps. Brick-thick lug soles on white-bottomed loafers and sandals add to the clinical effect, producing in a gentleman a purposefully awkward mien. Curious ombre patterns and akimbo digital prints bring home a lurking narrative. Proportion was also on Fendi’s mind; full but precariously short and high-buttoned suits with dramatically attenuated trousers are a quick route to the subversive. Fendi occupies a singular place within the landscape of Milan menswear, contentedly more niche than its global behemoth sister, but buoyed by the resources and know-how of a proper megabrand. Fresh and fearlessly left of center, Ms. Fendi pushes her man into new territory. 

EXTRA CREDITS

Hair Sofia Sjoo using Bumble & Bumble (Billy & Bo)  Grooming Anne-Sophie Costa using Chanel A/W12 and Rouge Allure Renovation  Model Shane Gibson (Storm)  Digital technician David Imms (Spring Digital)  Photo assistants Olin Brannigan and Daniel Cuifo  Retouching Dave Phoenix (Bespoke)  Casting Eddy Martin (File and Parade) 

MORE TO LOVE

POWERHOUSE: DOVER STREET MARKET (LONDON) REED KRAKOFF WEARS MANY COATS SHOP ALL WEEKEND GIRLS OF NOW: CHARLI XCX
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