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Kim Jones Shakes Up Fendi Heritage at the Milan Fashion Week

May 01, 2024May 01, 2024

Delfina Delettrez Fendi is Jewelry Maker and Muse of the Fendi 2023 Collection

Wrapped in a hazy cone of light, Fendi’s artistic director Kim Jones presented his collection of dares at the Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2023. Retrieving Fendi’s classicism and elegance while initiating a subtle revolution, the Fendi Autumn/Winter 2023 collection comes as a result of Jones’ relationship with his muse. “It all started with Delfina,” he revealed.

Delfina Delettrez Fendi, the heiress of the Italian brand and renowned jewelry maker, has always taken the liberty to make use of her FENDI archive (and family heritage) for her self-expression. She represents the instinctive nature of the Fendi woman, who doesn’t shy away from gutsy matches and cutting-edge trends. “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 said.

In what looked like a magic trick, the Fendi Autumn/Winter 2023 show brought Jones’s palette alive, proving that there is no color transition the director can’t make. Beginning with somber shades, models walked from hues of light blue to brown, until finally entering the glows of red and magenta. The same easiness is carried through the collection by Jones’s exploration of binaries: shapes lose their stiffness, gendered archetypes blend, and graceful ladylike expectations are faced with Jones’s chic provocations.

The simplicity of the Fendi Autumn/Winter 2023 collection is only an illusion, but it allows for each piece to be worn every day with a new narrative. Knitwear becomes an expression for multiple occasions. There are cut-out and asymmetric cardigans, gently warped pullovers, and skin-tight dresses left unbuttoned. Skewness becomes a motif that echoes in mantles and turtle-necked scarfs. “It’s deconstructed, but luxurious,” the artistic director explains, “there’s a little nod to punk, and my admiration for DIY, but moved on towards something chic.”

Jones has also recovered masculine tailoring, twisting it into feminine forms. Straight pants are sewn together with pleated skirts, and clean-cut raincoats fall open to flash their sequined lining. In the merger of these two spheres, there is also a nod to utilitarianism. Jones pays tribute to elements of craftsmanship with the reimagination of boilersuits, aprons, and uniforms, in layers of lace.

Finally, the runway offers the perfect occasion for introducing the FENDI Multi, a new handbag that reflects the multipurpose sensibility innate to the House. Silvia Venturini Fendi, artistic director for Fendi Men and Fendi Accessories, said that the duality of the FENDI Multi “is very FENDI – as is the idea of something which appears simple but, in reality, is very complex,” and added, “I think what is really nice is the movement of the bag, that it can be two things in one.” Similarly, Jones’s muse Delfina Delettrez Fendi said that her jewelry aimed at exploring “the purity of the double F, locking on the ear.” Surely, with this collection, you will be able to submerge yourself in the Fendi essence, head to toe.