Review of Fendi Fall 2023 Men’s Fashion Show
The Ever Elegant Fendi Shows Its Cozy and Quirky Side
By Mark Wittmer
Subverting familiar Fendi elegance and glamor with an exploration of asymmetry and the lush comfortability of its materials, Silvia Venturini Fendi’s Fall 2023 men’s collection was another affirmation of the creative director’s impeccable consistency even as she explored a few fun new ideas.
Ms. Fendi’s work combined exacting precision in silhouette and construction with an imaginative sense of hybridity and material.
The collection was dominated by luxurious and cozy knits that proved being comfortable as can be can in fact go hand in hand with the utmost elegance, as well as sartorial innovation. Warm woolen pieces came in the form of sexy sheer sweaters, languid and drapey ponchos with hearty fringe, and asymmetrical wrap knits that left the layer beneath it – which was often a bare arm and shoulder – exposed, a motif that was picked up and reconfigured across other pieces as well.
While tailoring didn’t feel like as much of a focus do to it often being obscured by the voluminous and flowing silhouettes, suits and overcoats still anchored the collection, lending a crisp solidity as a foundational layer and allowing for the overriding character of fluid architecture.
In a welcome pumping of the brakes, this collection had less of the all-over FF monogram that we’ve seen in a lot of other outings from the house, with Ms. Fendi wisely recognizing when to show restraint and when to paint with broad strokes. When the logo was deployed – which still wasn’t infrequent – it featured on hardware (one of the house’s signatures) or was worked into the fabric of the garment itself via knitting and weaving techniques.
Other adornments featured glimmering black crystals, lending a nocturnal decadence and opulence to suiting pieces that otherwise might have felt a bit straight-laced. Mostly dominated by gray, the neutral color palette is punctuated by playful pops of purple.
While the slow-motion menswear boom is slowly gaining traction, Fendi’s primary business is still to sell bags, and the accessories were of course on point. Extending the collection’s theme of hybrid formality, Fendi classics like the Peekaboo and Baguette are infused with a playful glamor via material treatments like sprayed shearling and crocodile, while hardware is reimagined with a futuristic bent – a mood that is picked up by Delfina Delettrez Fendi’s jewelry designs. Most fun of all is the literal baguette bag: not a Baguette bag, but a bag shaped and colored like a baguette (but a fuzzy and fleecy one).
While it didn’t directly tie into the collection, the set construction of a gigantic pinball habitrail (that’s the technical term for the metal tracks down which the ball rolls) with giant steel marbles that rolled alongside the models was a very cool feature that augmented the feel of slick, industrial elegance.
Showing that the house of Fendi’s renowned character of elegance and precision can fit perfectly with comfort and quirkiness, Silvia Venturini Fendi does it again.