MILAN, Italy — In recent years, Silvia Venturini Fendi has fashioned the menswear of Fendi into one of Milan's outstanding presences, shaping it into a rejuvenated proposal that is as attractive for millennials as it for grown-ups. She's done it without looking silly, forcibly young or just plain crazy. Hitting a metropolitan wardrobe of basic shapes — blousons, anoraks, raincoats, shorts, shirts and suits — with Fendi's knack for artisanal challenges, and a decidedly Roman sense of humour, she constantly manages to make the normal special.
Today's show was heralded as a walk on Fendi's dark side, following the work of artist Nico Vascellari, who devised the dark show set as well as the playfully demonic prints that were splashed all over the collection, the anagram Fendi/Fiend being the best. Accordingly, the collection featured a lot of black, which for Fendi was a first, and a constant play off of dualisms: red versus black, leather versus paper, graphic versus plain, solid versus perforated. There was such an array of themes and variations, it all looked lively instead of gloomy.
The result was catchy and playful, which is exactly what Silvia Ventirini is after. "What we do is very simple and can be assembled in different ways according to individual whims. I am averse to all diktats," she said. The designer delivered, and it was a blast.