Last but most certainly not the least at Milan Fashion Week Men's spring/summer 2019, the two traditional pillars of Italian fashion—Giorgio Armani and Fendi—reinterpret their greatest hits through fresh new lenses.
There is a certain power that lies within a suit jacket. If Dolce&Gabbana’s spring/summer 2019 rendition can be likened to a gilded suit of armour that inspires awe, Giorgio Armani's soft tailoring is the equivalent of a malleable coat of chainmail.
A master of draping and soft tailoring, Giorgio Armani began the spring/summer 2019 collection by reworking the double-breasted jacket. He started by rendering the traditionally stiff and structured garment into a casual, more languid form; giving the jacket more versatility. The gorge of the jacket is deeper and the shoulders are softer, allowing it to drape beautifully. Paired with wide-legged trousers, they form a look that works just as well at the beach, as it would in the boardroom.
Giorgio didn't stop there. The rest of the outerwear—blousons and suit jackets—are cut so well that they resemble soft cardigans, rather than stuffy jackets. Even the traditionally stiff indigo denim bends to Giorgio’s deft touch. Think: soft denim parkas and suit-trucker jacket hybrids, high-waist double-pleated trousers and (my personal favourite) a coat with drawstrings at the waist.
The fashion world has been fixated on the idea of transparency. Perhaps, a reflection of the state of things; especially news that is fed to us (#fakenews)? Plastics of both transparent and translucent variants made their way into garments. And so far for spring/summer 2019, mesh and organza have been used to great effect by both Ermenegildo Zegna Couture and Versace respectively.
Both presented different points of views—Alessandro Sartori used it as a way of interpreting weightlessness while Donatella's approach was exploring femininity and sexiness. Silvia Fendi is also familiar with transparent fabrics, using organza to subvert the white collar uniform in her recent spring/summer 2018 collection.
For Fendi's spring/summer 2019 offering, Silvia collaborated with Nico Vascellari—the fourth partnership from her revolving door of guest artists—to explore the balance between light and darkness.
Vascellari began by anagramming; his way of colliding things that exist on completely opposite sides. 'Fendi' became 'Fiend' and 'Roma' turned into 'Amor' (Italian for 'love').
Within every fiend—at least in the Fendi universe that Silvia created—there lies the capacity for love. Silvia translated that notion by peering into the darkness to reveal the light. For example, black outerwear is crafted using mesh and perforated leather, showcasing what lies beneath—glimpses of vibrant red polo tees and pullovers featuring graphics drawn by Vascellari.
The collection also featured other codes of the house that she's been introducing throughout the past few seasons. The double F Fendi logo was hand drawn by Vascellari and then translated onto waxy paper-like fabric anoraks and tracksuits.
The diagonal stripes from last season—that was inspired by a dress designed by Karl Langfield—was reinterpreted in sections of fur and organza on shirts. The stripes also appeared on organza blousons. The house's signature Pequin stripes (reintroduced in spring/summer 2017) were used as subtle pipe detailing on billowy leather coats.
Not a one trick pony, the accessories are bangers as well. Double Fs cover fanny packs and small sling bags, while bucket bags and shopping totes were given luxurious upgrades. Even the iconic Peek-A-Boo turned a little fiendish, adorned with tiny little horns. A highlight in the footwear department came in the form of sandals fixed with a Nike Air Max-looking base cushion; it doesn't get any more comfortable than that.
Finding light and fun in the darkness of your fellow collaborator, presenting a conceptual collection that is desirable and wearable, and all while pushing the boundaries of craftsmanship of the house? This collection proves that Silvia Fendi is at the top of her game.