Whispers have been circulating recently that this year’s long, hot, post-pandemic holiday season is destined to be the “summer of skin”. Whether the clingy minidresses of emerging brands like KNWLS, Nensi Dojaka, and Ottolinger, or the skimpy ’00s-throwback frocks spotted at some of the more established houses like Lanvin and Blumarine, right now, there are more reasons than ever to flash some skin.
It seems that Silvia Venturini Fendi also got the memo – but in this case, offering something a little more racy for the guys, too. Staging her latest menswear show in the loggia of Fendi HQ, the Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana in Rome, the show was a direct tribute to the spirit of the city that has continued to inspire countless generations of the Fendi family, most notably with a series of prints from the archives featuring illustrated maps of Rome as “Fendi land”. And in another winking nod to some of the house’s most iconic designs from across the decades, the Baguette bag was reinterpreted not just as a perspex clutch in a delicious sunrise ombré, but also shrunk into tiny silver jewellery charms.
While the pastel-hued tones of the collection, a frothy kaleidoscope of dusty pinks, lavenders, and ice blues, might feel classically Mediterranean, the proportions of some of the ab-baring tailoring and cropped jackets went for something distinctly more of-the-moment, ready to be worn for a first post-lockdown night out in the darkest – and sweatiest – of corners. Most eye-catching of all were traditional Italian-cut blazers with neon ties, sliced at the bottom of the lapel for the ultimate ab-baring look. Meanwhile, a rave-ready cropped technical jacket also came with the model’s belly button very much on show.
There were, of course, more modest looks to be found. Particularly lovely were the knits and jackets that featured a distinctive effect that appeared almost like the iridescent rainbow shimmers of an oil slick, inspired by the topography of Rome’s River Tiber, while a series of looks towards the end reinterpreted the collection’s motifs in a ravishing array of deep blues. Still, it was the playfulness of Venturini Fendi’s topsy-turvy proportions that felt like the main thing to write home about. And while it might not be in stores until summer next year, we can’t imagine the trend for skin-baring, hedonistic clothes will be going away any time soon. Count us in.