The Fendi Pre-Fall 2020 collection blended equal amounts of grace and force, sensuality and control.
“In the spring show the idea of a new woman was already taking shape, and this pre-collection strengthens her identity,” she said. “She’s a younger, softer woman, closer to real life, with a feel of warmth and lightness.” Yet with Venturini Fendi, the idea of femininity has layers of complexities. “I was thinking of young aristocrats. But a bit perverse, a bit like mischievous Lolitas,” she said. “And also with a strong sense of self, of discipline. Powerful.”
Silvia Venturini Fendi’s love of uniforms played out in substantial yet soft tailoring with a dash of the military, while a more seductive side was apparent in short, slightly naughty baby doll dresses with little rounded collars; brassieres in soft hand-knitted wool worn over camisoles; and quilted satin jackets evocative of the languid nightdresses and robes de chambre favored by Hollywood movie stars in the ’30s and ’40s.
Twists of perception are what make Fendi’s technical feats unique—and its approach to innovation so peculiar. The aristocratic Lolitas’ frilly frocks were made not only from tulle as would be expected, but from nylon, inspired by the old-school, rather mumsy warp-knitted lingerie available at department stores in the ’60s. And what at first glance looked like corduroy on pantsuits and minidresses was actually shearling solcato, or suede, worked in a cool ribbed texture.