It’s long been the position of fashion designers to show customers what they will probably want in the future. But if the future is uncertain, what they want now may have to suffice.
Fendi’s spring ’21 collection, which showed Wednesday at Milan Fashion Week, had a little bit of both. While the clothing looked to a future where working from and staying at home was in the rearview mirror, the footwear was firmly rooted in the comfort focus of the present circumstances. That is, socks and sandals.
Held at Fendi’s headquarters, in the same event space that used to host hundreds of guests, packed shoulder-to-shoulder as recently as February, this time around the brand’s show had a fraction of their usual in-person guests (130 in total, spaced six feet apart, wearing masks). Most attendees watched the show virtually from the brand’s website.
Models walked coed in a socially distanced fashion down the sparse white runway, mostly wearing “real” clothing, like tailored trousers and matching short-sleeved shirts, or skirts and delicate linen dresses in linen, both accented by Victorian-like embroidery and edging (this was intended to reflect the details of home items like bedding and tableware, as if these items were pulled from their places and refashioned as garments). The collection had all of the trappings of Fendi’s vintage ladylike likeness but without any of the textures from previous seasons, which now feel inappropriate for life at home.
On foot, many of the models wore a version of the socks-and-sandals trend that seems to have cemented itself as a definitive quarantine look — especially now as the weather grows colder this fall. Espadrille-like, criss-crossed shower slides done in raffia were paired with pointelle knitted calf socks, mostly in white but also in a bold, sunny yellow.
While the sandals point to yet another summer of the “ugly” sandal, the look also offers styling advice for how to transition into fall comfortably.
All was not lost, though, for the high heel at Fendi. A series of woven leather booties, in yellows, pinks and whites, made their appearance on the runway, too. Similar to the brand’s popular neoprene and mesh sock booties and sandals of previous seasons, the shoes hugged the foot. And thought they looked a bit like Barbie’s plastic shoes from afar, a closer-up view showed more flexibility in the woven material (and given Fendi’s track record, they’re likely more comfortable than they look).
Socks also came with the heels, done again in a pointelle weave that depicted the Fendi logo. The takeaway? Start stashing socks — for now, and for later.