FENDI appointed Kim Jones for its Spring 2021 Haute Couture collection, and since, the Dior Men’s Creative Director has taken FENDI womenswear into a space that combines Milanese chic with a dash of boldness, and plenty of core accessories set for cult status. However, Jones’ collection for Spring/Summer 2024 – debuted today at FENDI’s headquarters in Milan – conjured up other thoughts. Sadder, more sombre thoughts.
Unlike many shows, FENDI stuck to one track – an elongated rendition of “This Bitter Earth / On the Nature of Daylight” by Dinah Washington, Louisa Fuller, Natalia Bonner, John Metcalfe, Philip Sheppard, and Chris Worsey. The song has been featured in many a film, from 1978’s Killer of Sheep to the 2010 Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island, and now for FENDI, it served a similar purpose – setting the tone for a series of clothes that felt like Jones at his most open and honest.
Why? Because the clothes differed from previous FENDI women’s seasons. Instead of a consistent palette, we got all the colours – some in block tone, others in mix-and-match. For example, lush knitwear in baby blue got the Golf livery treatment thanks to highlighter orange accoutrements and neon yellow bags being tightly clutched in hand. It was later reversed on neon orange knit dresses with blue gloves, or totally transformed with the use of a baby blue weave that melted into leopard print on the bottom of another dress, here accented with FENDI’s take on the it-girl staple, the ballet pump.
FENDI prints stuck tightly to skin-gripping turtle neck dresses, while on the contrary, military influences were painted off-white for a break from the bold, albeit leaving space for neon yellow heels.
Jones’ final look was an unexpected one, taking the chance to explore FENDI’s technicality with a dress that was knitted using three-dimensional proportions. Its volume was flat, instead relying on tone-on-tone shadowing to create definition on the body.
What does it all mean? Well, perhaps Jones has found his stride as FENDI’s womenswear designer. Perhaps, he wanted to bring a softer, more sophisticated, grown up attitude to this legacy House. Out goes the fun for fun’s sake, in comes a maturity that only a designer like Jones can exude, explore, and portray.
Take a look at FENDI SS24 in the gallery above. Find more Milan Fashion Week content across Culted, on Instagram, and on TikTok.