Italian luxury fashion house Fendi made pockets and practical belts the centrepiece of its functional and elegant designs at Milan Fashion Week – dedicating the collection to women who must traverse metropolitan jungles every day, yet wish to stay stylish.
“Functionality is the word [to describe the new collection],” said Silvia Venturini Fendi, the founding family’s scion who forms a creative duo at the maison with German designer Karl Lagerfeld, after Thursday’s show.
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The Rome-based fashion house, which was founded in 1925, is now part of France’s luxury conglomerate LVMH, along with Christian Dior and Givenchy.
“I thought of a woman who lives an intense urban life, who wakes up early, brings her children to school, works, goes to the gym, likes to go out, but might not manage to go back home to change,” Fendi said.
Her own life and needs had inspired the collection, which was created in comfortable yet luxurious fabrics with layered looks, and where clothes – full of pockets – almost resembled accessories.
She said the maison wanted to offer a “real wardrobe, not only one for the great occasions”.
White and light brown looks opened the catwalk, with a ruffled white shirt dress covered in a PVC, leather-embellished overcoat with big pockets.
Most of the new designs were paired with leather belts inspired by workers’ tool belts.
The natural toned looks, full of the house’s trademark leather touches, tight, corset-like waist shapes and PVC items gave way to sportier looks, in burgundy, mandarin, orange, denim and cognac.
Models wore biker shorts matched with fur jackets resembling biker coats, with the company’s logo on the back.
Denim knee-length masculine coats were draped over short skirts and leather bomber jackets with Fendi’s embossed “double F” logo were worn as dresses.
As they walked down the pale pink runway, models wore comfortable high-heeled shoes – some with a squared point, most made of Lycra – or more feminine sandals.
The collection showcased Fendi’s baguette shoulder bag, with re-editions in soft leather or denim, and with a double strap, because the brand has noticed the item’s success with younger customers.
Fendi’s ‘Peekaboo’ bag in this collection was introduced with new interchangeable handles and covered by the maison’s new “DeFender” an accessory covering the bag and offering further space and pockets.
Milan Fashion Week ends on Tuesday.