Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s the Zoolander-sounding moniker, Fendace. In an industry first, Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini-Fendi of Fendi and Donatella Versace of Versace put their heads together for a kind of ‘design off’ spectacle, whereby each house presented a mini collection to the other, reimagined by their own interpretation. Here’s what went down!
Closing out Milan Fashion Week on a notable high, we can’t talk about the once-off event without discussing the casting. It’s almost easier to shortlist what era-defining models didn’t take part. From catwalk mainstays like Gigi Hadid, Stella Maxwell, and Vittoria Ceretti, to newcomers like Precious Lee and Lila Moss, and the old guard of Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Amber Valetta, and Kristen McMenamy, it made for some pretty viral Instagram content to brighten up our Sunday evening (not least, that insouciant dress flip from Shalom Harlow which showed future generations of supers how it’s done.)
All things considered, the collaborative capsule was the type of memorable finale we needed—ensuring the return to an in-person Fashion Month hasn’t felt repetitive and indistinguishable from pre-pandemic times. As collaborations, or “hacking” as Gucci and Balenciaga decided to put it with their co-branded outing, have become rather ten a penny, this meeting-in-the-middle felt like a fresh approach. Not since The Battle of Versailles in 1972 have we seen brands of such behemoth stature defer from the status quo and do something this fun. And just for the hell of it, too!
So, how did they go about this cross-contamination? According to a release, each house offered the other insight and access into its respective archives. (Prompting the question…why wasn’t this commissioned as a reality show?!). The unspoken brief, if you will, was for the designers to create a collection that maintained a “deep admiration for the codes and cultures” while putting their own stamp on it. Versace by Fendi explored the idea of duality, with the double-F monogram meets the Versace Greek key motif, with a nod to the ’90s. On the other hand, La Versace went the disruptive route—puncturing Fendi signs and symbols with Versace’s iconic safety pins.
Aside from the stellar talent on the runway, the crowd in attendance was no less mega-watt. Among the audience were Liz Hurley (whose relationship to Versace needs no further explanation even some 27 years after that dress) and her son Damian, Dua Lipa, Demi Moore, Evan Mock, Winnie Harlow, Zoey Deutch, and Chiara Ferragni with her husband Fedez, among others. And lucky them too, because if the rumor mill is to be believed—these pieces won’t be commercially available so perhaps they’ll be tucked away back into those aforementioned archives.
See the collections below: