Double vision is in the air. Two designers, two legacy houses, two productions. After rumors had been circulating over a “surprise show” orchestrated by Fendi’s Kim Jones and Donatella Versace, the collaboration of the century unveiled a double collection on one runway. Introducing Versace by Fendi — Fendi by Versace: the unexpected extravaganza that capped Milan Fashion Week.
Described by the pair as a “to-hell-with-it disruption of the established order of things,” Versace x Fendi (otherwise memed as “Fendace”) engineered an unconventional approach to your typical luxury fashion collaboration. As opposed to the rival surprise collusion of the year — Balenciaga x Gucci, “Fendace” did not color within conglomerate lines. Fendi is a member of LVMH, while Versace is of the much smaller Capri Holdings. Uniting was rather a commemoration of their most overarching resemblance, established Italian design.
So how did it work? A classic swap. Donatella took the reins of Fendi, while Jones designed as Versace. Drawing from archival inspiration of both houses, each half of the collection adopted its respective inspiration and met in the middle. Logomania, of course, was at the center of the collaboration’s Venn diagram, further amplified by the melding of Fendi’s and Versace’s emblems.
For the opening of the show, Kim Jones went full ’90s Versace to interpret the brand. Fendi’s classic F’s were woven into the quintessential Versace prints, chokers adorned almost every model, silhouettes screamed heroin-chic, and gold (obviously) made quite the appearance. In ultimate ’90s fashion, Kate Moss and Amber Valletta closed the Versace by Fendi half.
And then… the Versace logo dramatically flipped to reveal Fendi’s namesake. Fendace’s second half—25 more looks for Fendi by Versace—was underway. Rebellion and punk meshed with a glamorous edge, each piece frosted with metallics, hot pink, or even a clone of Donatella’s signature hairstyle. Of course, not a single design forgot the logos. Naomi Campbell, in full sparkle, ended the show.
To accessorize a historical affair, the Fendace show was as star-studded as they come. Along with the jaw-dropping casting, front row attendees included Liz Hurley, Demi Moore, Winnie Harlow, Dua Lipa, and many more.
Versace by Fendi — Fendi by Versace is just the beginning of fashion’s rise in collaborative culture. Balenciaga’s crossover with Gucci back in April, MSCHF‘s non-consensual collaborations over the past year, and Moncler‘s “Genius” have been slowly setting the stage for an unforeseen industry shake up. Digital culture and sensational media have forced even the most renowned houses to adapt. Versace and Fendi’s surprise drop was not only iconic — but essential. Fashion is back.END
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