Fendi F/W 2017
The frontrunner of logo fashion
Tiny Chinese imigrant fans screamed in unison as the guests arrived for Fendi. The object of their desires: Korean pop pin up Taeyang with his inimitable blond Rastafarian locks, who entered in blazes of phone flashes and paparazzi scrambling.
Inside, the show space was dense with Asian buyers, clients and editors. On the catwalk, a collection littered with Pop Art hued words: Try, Bliss, Freedom and Love. Stuck on sleek leather backpacks; sewn over fur totes or along the arm of mink bomber jackets; composed on knit headbands, Royal Tenenbaums style.
Almost half the passages were ski influenced – in the most Alpine ever season in Milan. Or après-ski influenced, since most the padded jerkins with beaver skin trim will likely to be worn in a city center.
One could not fault the fabric innovation – most notably a superb new nylon down material cut into figure forgiving dusters and jerkins. Nor the youthful appropriation of sporty gear – like neoprene boots – tagged with Fendi, of course.
Fendi’s mood board was a constellation of 70s iconography, from Elton John in a denim jacket with beaver skin arms to Salvador Dali in a fur collar town coat. Though few of them travelled as much as today’s Fendi customer – for whom the Roman house offered shearling flight pillows. These came attached to backpacks, from which also hung furry monsters and even small collapsible seats. We kid you not.
The clothes’ ultimate target – rich Asian consumers, gathered backstage to admire the collection. Where Prada wraps up their collections in black bags in seconds after they exit the catwalk; Fendi leaves them all on prominent display. A half century ago, a newly enriched generation in North America sought out brands like Ralph Lauren, precisely because they made New Money look like Old Money. No such concern with the modern wealthy in Asia. They want to flaunt it while they got it. One top even had a tagline “Trust Fendi,” which is clearly what fashion nuts in Asia currently do.