“The best way to explore the Fendi archives is through the Fendi wardrobes," Kim Jones notes for Fall 2022. While Karl Lagerfeld's tenure at the Italian House is something Jones' has, and does use as a reference point, he's not talking about that. He's talking about the Fendi women, Silvia Venturini and her two daughters Delfina Delettrez and Leonetta Luciano.
One of the things we've been looking for from Jones since the beginning of his tenure at the brand, is a clear path for Fendi's new identity, and for Fall 2022, it was finally crystallised. An enthusiastic devotee to archival silhouettes and an exacting tailor, Jones' Fendi woman nods to the essence of the Fendi women who have come before him, and surround him day-to-day (Delettrez is the artistic director of jewellery for Fendi).
Here, we were offered a lightness that felt welcome. Using Lagerfeld's Spring 2000 collection as a touchpoint, chiffon blouses, pants, and slip dresses were offered up in faint washes of mint, peach, and flame red, layered on top of each other to build on an updated approach. Later on, precise tailoring is layered over top, collars upturned. They come in overcoats and long-line blazers, chiffon ruffles peeking out just below the knee, evoking that perfect feeling, like we are seeing something we perhaps aren't supposed to.
The jackets are then cropped right below the ribcage, meeting perfectly fitted high waist trousers and miniature tailored skorts and skirts which are sometimes paired with a watery blouse, other times fitted with boned bustiers.
The allusion of sex is there, of course, but it is not so obvious as we have seen on the other runways in the past two seasons. Perhaps this is because it is a Fall collection, perhaps it is Jones' finesse. Either way, it strikes a balance that feels yet to be figured out elsewhere.
Further along, denim and leather are thrown into the mix, offering different textural iterations to the existing silhouette, alongside pencil-straight knee length skirts that are met with knee high boots – another ever-so-subtle nod to the naughts, considering this combination swiftly became a relic of the past once the 2010s were ushered in.
For Fall 2022, Jones brings forward a kind-of cohesion that we've been searching for in past collections. Italian glamour is still very much present – after all, it's in the brand's DNA – but lightness and most of all, control, is what we are most aware of. Jones communicates that he is acutely aware of the trend cycle, and instead of bowing to it completely, is infusing it with structure and timelessness, and it could be the best decision he's made yet.
Watch the Fendi Fall 2022 show, below.