also available at:

The Fendi Fall/Winter 2020 Collection Is Made For The Accessories Fiend

From a blockbuster collaboration with tech accessories maker Chaos to novelty shoes and bags, this was a dream collection for fashion collectors.

Silvia Venturini Fendi is one of the few female creative directors working in Milan right now and that fact could perhaps explain why her Fall/Winter 2020 collection was so attuned to the female psyche –  well at least the way women want to dress up and shop. The 52-piece collection was sensuous, glamorous, and empowering while the bumper crop of accessories and a hyped collaboration with London company Chaos meant that there would be at least something for all to fancy. After all, in these discretionary times, the power and appeal of a good accessory is even more pertinent for the sales floor.

The meandering runway was decked out to the look like a boudoir with its powder pink upholstered benches that made the guests seem like they were an audience to some dressing room ritual. As one model appeared after another, one can only imagine the phrase “Say yes to the dress, accessories, and bag” ringing through their minds. Here, we highlight what went down during the show.

The Fab Four
Nothing gets the crowd become trigger happy more than when greeted by the sight of veteran supermodels on the catwalk. In the case of Fendi, that meant getting familiar faces from the late ’90s and early aughts to join the cast of models for the show. Enter Liya Kebede, Carolyn Murphy, Karen Elson and Jacquetta Wheeler who drove home the point that style – and beauty – defies age, seasons and era. Big Impact
The Fall/Winter 2020 show marked the first time that Fendi has booked plus-sized models for its show. Even though there were only two curvier models in the roll call, their appearance was short of monumental – especially given how other Milanese brands rarely champion a diverse cast. To support her message of body positivity, creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi turned to breakout Dutch model Jill Kortleve and American model Paloma Elsesser. The latter would later post on her Instagram to thank Fendi “for making me feel protected, safe, and seen. This means the world to me, but most importantly to those who have never seen themselves on a runway in Milan.” Chaos Theory
It is no secret that Silvia Venturini Fendi is supported by a group of talented female creative consultants for her shows. They include Amanda Harlech, Venturini Fendi’s own daughters Delfina and Leonetta, and Charlotte Stockdale, the co-founder of London tech-based accessories brand Chaos. Fendi turned to Chaos for help in creating a bumper crop of jewellery for the digital age. This includes woven gold mesh smart phone pouches, key chains for earphones and smart watch, zipper lanyards, gilded lighters and a scribble pen-as-earring which you can use to write on paper and tablets.   Smart Packaging
Call this a major #throwbag. For Fall, Fendi turned to the maison’s packaging from the archive for a series of novelty bags with an ironic twist. Cue the whopper-sized leather shopper which riffed on the design of the brand’s jumbo paper bag and the drawstring pouch in nappa leather which was reminiscent of the dust bags that always come with our shopping. Playing Naughty & Nice
To tie in with the boudoir theme of the collection, Fendi gave its footwear a bit of a vampish nod. Pumps were hooked with detachable straps which wrapped around the ankles to create a vintage ’40s-inspired ankle-strap pumps design. The strap reminded us of the garter belts and showed a cheekier-than-usual side to Venturini Fendi’s designs. The Miss Shapes
The sculpted shoulders and voluptuous sleeves were the most pronounced and eye-popping silhouettes of the collection and provided a dose of grandeur and power to the outfits. The aesthetic starts off with a flat-planed shoulder which then drops into a Juliet sleeve. This dramatic shape appeared not just on evening dresses but also elevating everyday pieces like coats, rompers, knits and blouses. Reverse Psychology
You know those headbands Old Hollywood starlets donned in their bedrooms? Well, Fendi had an irreverent take on the look with its “half versions” which were worn at the nape of the head and ended at the ears. Available in an array of finishes like velvet and ruched satin.   Printed Matter
A perennial of Italian chic and continental glamour, the leopard print got an unexpected and artistic update at Fendi for Fall. The feline’s spots were manipulated and joined to create paisley prints, appearing in brushed wool, intarsia fur as well as upcycled mink. That treatment certainly got us leaning closer for a second look.