Tuesday 18th June

| BY Richard Gray

Fendi: Menswear SS20

Dissecting hardworking gardening gear and re-purposing the codes to create a contemporary men’s wardrobe was the aim of Fendi’s Creative Director Silvia Venturini Fendi at her standout men’s SS20 show this morning. “I love gardening. I garden every week,” said the designer backstage. This narrative informed her workman’s wide-cut trousers and big denim shorts. One pair of chinos came with a see-through plastic “second skin”. Gardeners get wet.

Fendi called her line out En Plein Air, in reference to her own personal garden-based escape from the world of social media. Her models walked the circuitous paths around the gardens of the Villa Reale, the 18th Century neoclassical villa, on the outskirts of Milan.

Taking, what have become, certainly, in the past five years, modern menswear staples: garments like the cagoule, the wide tailored shirt, the statement-print shirt, the combat trouser – day and evening. Fendi ran them all under her gardener’s eye. Layering with horticulture-inspired prints: abstracted florals, the pebbles seen at the bottom of a pool; leaves (all kinds) and so on. It was as thorough and researched as it was beautiful. The prints really were exceptional. Florals were given a gingham treatment and overlaid or mixed together, to create fascinating new proposals. A double-F for Fendi camoflague print was the winner. Prints were imagined in 3D, too, and a fretwork effect, was opened up like a garden tressel. Squares of gingham became cut-outs and formed overshirts in leather. The prints were the work of the house’s guest designer this season, the director Luca Guadagnino.

Bags were watering cans, bucket hats were floppy and shoppers were giant – like those you get in garden centres. The canvas and rubber mix sneakers were created by the supercool Japanese sneaker specialists Moonstar. Be sure to add all the above to your shopping list next spring.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.