In March — not long after Fendi debuted its Fall 2020 collection — the COVID-19 pandemic caused the world, including the fashion industry, to shut down. The early days of quarantine and self-isolation led many to believe that they would take this time to learn a new skill, or perhaps pen the next King Lear. As everyone began their new ventures, creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi was gathering inspiration for the Fendi Spring/Summer 2021 runway collection. On Sept. 23, the Italian fashion house shared its creative vision for a new life from home — going so far as to send virtual guests Fendi logo pasta and a family recipe to help connect them to the experience from afar.
The space for self-reflection lights up when the world outside goes dark — and like others, Fendi has spent much of her time during the global pandemic quietly in the insides of her home, watching the world pass by. Aptly titled Fendi Reflections, the latest collection (which is Fendi's last before Kim Jones joins as the artistic director of womenswear) embodies the gentle, nostalgic comforts of home like lace handkerchiefs, quilting, and linen. The color palette — neutral whites, browns, black, and sky blue mixed with vivid red and pops of pink and yellow — provides a meditative breath of air among the sights that lie beyond the window panes.
Pieces in Fendi’s collection bring light to the art of staying at home, both in nuanced and obvious ways. As musician Lorenzo Senni and a string quartet offered a staccato background beat, models walked in flowing dresses, wide-leg pants, quilted jackets, and separates with boudoir-inspired appliqués and feathers. Even the formal styles, like a tailored three-piece suit, carry more relaxed, unstructured fits this time around.
The mysterious nature of shadows also plays a role in the luxury label’s Spring 2021 collection. Monochromatic images of flowers and windows — which were also projected on the floors and linen drapes lining the walls — were printed onto blouses and dresses (most of which are sheer). As for the accessories, lattice frame totes and PVC market bags join embroidered silk scarves layered effortlessly over leather handbags to add a hint of vintage-inspired whimsy to 2021’s spring and summer season.
The long and unending days of COVID-19 can often feel monotonous, at best. But according to Fendi, there’s beauty to those quiet (and sometimes melancholy) moments, spent observing the world from the intimate corners of home.