Fendi’s gender-busting men’s collection is inspired by Princess Anne, ‘chicest woman in the world’

MILAN (AP) — Silvia Venturini Fendi plucked heirlooms from an aristocratic family hope chest and embellished them with details long released from the feminine realm for a highlands-stomping menswear collection previewed Saturday during Milan Fashion Week.

Venturini Fendi said she was inspired by Princess Anne, whom she called “the chicest woman in the world,” capable of “maintaining her femininity while wearing a uniform,” the epitome of masculinity.

Generous overcoats, leather wellies and rumpled cloche defined the outdoorsy Fall-Winter 2024-25 silhouette fit for Balmoral. The color palette recalled a rainy day on the highlands: moss, brown, slate gray and maroon, cornflower blue, mustard.

“I liked the idea of breaking barriers, breaking the masculine and feminine codes, that don’t exist anymore. They shouldn’t exist anymore,’’ Venturini Fendi, the brand’s director of accessories and menswear, said backstage.

The runway mood was casual, off hours. Jackets were more often flung over the arm than worn, a signal that the day’s work was done. Soft corduroy trousers fell into slit hemlines that flop over thick-soled sneakers. A pillowy bag was tucked under the arm. For the evening, soft suits and overcoats with shimmery surfaces and nearly sheer long knitwear over trousers gave a touch of decadence.

As is the recent Milan trend, the Fendi logo appeared sparingly, as geometric repeat pattern on checked double-Fs on bright prints or covering a portable music speaker made in collaboration with French brand Devialet.

Venturini Fendi said the collection is about longevity, creating heirlooms, “to underline garments for life, not use and throw away.”

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