A reef of blue lights rise to the ceiling, futuristic blue for technology and techno, revealing the brushed metal FF motif runway under its cool gaze. The music a pulse, charged with vitality as the models walk in sync at a steady, deliberate pace. First glance unveils a colour palette typical of winter; green the tinge of veins, oxblood and naturally, black. Signs of life stirring in the cold.
As far as accessories are concerned, the bucket hat proves to be the mood du jour and the hallmark Peekaboo is swathed in monogrammed suede. The Baguette is taken up a notch and coated in shearling, while occasion begs for O'lock link purses that put the evening in evening wear.
Loafers and sneakers are found aplenty, while wingtip mary janes signal a break from convention. As does the watch face pressed into the centre of the shoe's single strap, a reminder that timepieces have become embellishment rather than practical in the age of the iPhone.
Convention is no longer an agreement, but a question. Something that is interrogated from head-to-toe. Clean lines and strong tailoring permeate the collection, with houndstooth and the Fendi O'lock link motif nodding to tradition. Yet, cable knit sweaters and roll-necks are refreshed with v-shaped cut outs, a window of skin and a sliver of glinting jewellery.
It's clear Silvia Venturini Fendi has given a great deal of thought to masculinity in the Fendi AW22 menswear collection. A thing that cannot be done without allowing space for femininity. Evening and occasion wear is no longer weighed down by expectation, nor stuck in strict a gender binary, but reimagined to be as glitzy and cutting edge as the women's shows.
Pearl necklaces make an appearance. Ankles are embraced with sheer socks that rise to the knee. Collar bones peek through the necklines of evening jackets. Leather trousers arrive in oxblood and matching aviator jackets. Half-skirts ripple over wide trousers. Even the final look, a tailcoat tuxedo, is not quite what it seems; an exaggerated bow tie, raspberry socks peeping through a strappy shoe, a dainty purse — it's chain plucked between thumb and forefinger.
As Fendi reminds us, we're approaching the roaring twenties and with it, a new era of formalwear to match the fluidity of those who dare to wear it.
Directed by Nico Vascellari and with a live soundtrack from Italian composer Alessandro Cortini, you can relive the Fendi AW22 menswear show in full, below.