MILAN FASHION WEEK PHOTOS: Fendi and Marras envelop women in protective garb for next winter


MILAN — An anti-fur protester crashed the Fendi runway show Wednesday during the first day of Milan Fashion Week of mostly womenswear previews for fall-winter 2024-25.

A PETA activist jumped into the models’ finale holding up a sign that read “Animals are not clothing,” before being whisked away by security. The animal rights group is pressuring Fendi to join other global fashion brands that have agreed to use synthetic alternatives to real fur.

Fendi was born nearly a century ago as a fur and leather shop in Rome, and fur remains a core part of the brand’s DNA, even if featured a bit less on their runway shows in recent years.

Some highlights from Wednesday’s shows:

Kim Jones created utilitarian looks in a somber palette for Fendi’s next cold-weather season, with a twist.

Outwear was sculpted with big sleeves and arching lines, made cozy by criss-crossing knitwear that layered over top as fishermen knit scarves or cardigan shawls, sometimes anchored by sleeves.

Suggesting a devil-may-care attitude, ribbed bodysuits were left untucked with leather trousers and a shearling jacket. One-shoulder knitwear hedged bets against climate warming, paired with shiny leather skirts and boots.

Jones said the collection was meant to marry 1980s British subculture with Roman style epitomized by Silvia Venturini Fendi, the brand’s menswear and accessories designer, who was wearing a “very chic utilitarian suit” when they met.

“That fundamentally shaped my view of what Fendi is,” Jones said. “It is how a woman dresses that has something substantial to do. And she can have fun while doing it.”

Sardinian-born Italian designer Antonio Marras doesn’t just create a new collection every season. He creates entire new worlds.

Marras celebrated Sardinia’s heroine, the medieval Princess Eleonor of Arborea, having a dialogue with her falconer that was the backdrop to the runway collection: Eleonor, in an embroidered cape over an empire waist dress. The falconer in a kilt, an intarsia sweater and heavy hiking boots.

Models emerged from the ruins of an observatory being overtaken by vines, as if coming from another world or emerging from hibernation. They were enveloped in protective capes, crocheted helmets and corsets as breastplates. Argyle knitwear was constructed with silver hardware, as if armor; jackets featured big bustles covering shorts. An enormous white headpiece with a face-covering trap door gave drama to a sheer chiffon trailing dress with leaf imprints.

The collection was made from a mélange of wispy florals and sturdy checks and tartans. Unfinished or deconstructed garments with loose threads or spiky beading gave the collection an organic feel, as if the wearer could blend back in with the natural world.

The collection’s motive was a broken heart, appearing on tights and socks, or as purses. Tradition has it that Eleonor, after uniting Sardinia, died of the plague, which in Marras’ telling forced her to abandon her beloved falconer.



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