Nothing else quite raises expectations and excitement like a change in runway venue. For the last several seasons, Fendi has held its men’s show at their showroom on Via Andrea Solari. But, for spring/summer 2020, the location was the bucolic gardens of Villa Reale, just off Corso Venezia to the north of Milano’s Duomo.
With guests treated to Fendi wicker picnic baskets on our seats as welcome gifts—each filled with fresh pastries, fruits and a porcelain Fendi tumbler for servers to pour hot coffee in—signs were all pointing to a garden party. A little birdy also told us pre-show, that the guest designer for this collection (creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi always invites a guest designer each season; for autumn/winter 2019 it was the late Karl Lagerfeld) was none other than Italian film director Luca Guadagnino, of Call Me By Your Name fame. The ducks were all lining up for a poetic and enchanting show.
Standout looks? Key accessories? What’s with all the latticework on knits and laser-cut leather? Find out by listening to our audio review below as we report live from Milano.
Click on the play button above, or ‘Listen in browser’ on your smartphones, to listen to the audio review as you scroll through the gallery of looks above.
Designer: Silvia Venturini Fendi
Guest designer: Italian film director, Luca Guadagnino
Show venue: Villa Reale
10-word show review: Art of gardening with overalls, bucket hats and lattice-style knits.
Favourite look: The invite for this season’s show was a thick cream card with one side covered in the maison’s iconic Pequin stripe fabric. Understated and elegant, it was the perfect clue for the spring/summer 2020 collection to come.
Like a beautifully arranged bouquet of flowers, it first unfurled with overalls (a serene deep green with Fendi gardening gloves and a Pequin stripe gardening basket); before blossoming with the ‘Botanics by Fendi’ digital print (sketched by Guadagnino during idle moments on set while shooting his 2018 film Suspiria) on light and translucent shirting, a billowing trench, and a safari jacket with oversized patch pockets (removable and zippered into place for added functionality); set against a backdrop of chic beige suiting worn with bermudas or cargo-style trousers (see looks 9, 13 and 15); and aerated with V-neck knits and laser-cut leather tops featuring large lattice-like perforations to let the sunshine in (for example, scroll to exits 48, 51 and 57).
But our personal pièce de résistance was the introduction of long silk shirting that morphed into kaftans (see looks 25 and 38; the former in a sunshine yellow and, the latter, a double F camouflage print) that had us dreaming of a summer holiday. Fun fact: it was inspired by Guadagnino’s childhood memories in Ethiopia. Fashion fact: we all need a Fendi short-sleeve shirt-kaftan hybrid in our lives.
Favourite accessory: Bucket hats were the headwear du jour—sent out in a plethora of materials from cotton canvas and woven raffia to luxurious python—as an elevated workwear staple to accompany the Pequin stripe watering can (look 24) and rubber-soled boots created in collaboration with Japanese gardening footwear company, Moonstar. It was a celebration of the art of gardening. But whether you own a garden or just like to stroll through one, you can’t go wrong with those large tote bags in cut-out leather (for example, exit 44, 51, 52 and 58); hands down, our pick for the must-have Fendi accessory for SS20.
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