Who knew half a horse could look this good? We take a closer look at Fendi’s AW18 collaboration with Hey Reilly.
TEXT Astrid Hiort
Throw a horse, a block of cheese and a purple dice together and you have Fendi’s AW18 menswear collection collage imagery. A surreal combination brought to you by the Instagram artist @hey_reilly, whose tongue-in-cheek takes on fashion branding has landed him campaigns for Gucci, Nike, and Paul Smith, just to name a few. After stumbling over Reilly’s imaginative graphic work on Instagram, Silvia Venturini Fendi approached him for the house’ third artistic collaboration (previous collabs have been Sue Tilley for SS18 and John Booth for AW17) and gave him complete creative freedom to let loose with his motifs.
The no-restrictions and positive attitude were clearly emphasised in the collection by playing with the Fendi logo and the words “family”, “fabulous” and “freedom”, while horses on t-shirts and bags correlated with glossy mink. Prints consisting of a starry sky, cigarettes, and the back end of a horse gave a comical twist.
“I love horses, so it had to be in there. It’s both funny, but also really beautiful,” Reilly explained about the quirky combinations, “I wanted something really chic but fun at the same time. There’s a banana looking really ridiculous on there and that was like ‘Really, on this amazing garment?’” A lot of horses really like bananas so maybe not that farfetched after all? “Oh wow, I had no idea! That’s amazing!” Reilly said. (Case in point: Anna Kasprzak’s Olympic ride, Pepe, who is a major banana fan.)
It was a refreshing and carefree match made in heaven that suited Venturini Fendi’s vision of the heritage brand’s past, present, and future with the old-school Fendi monogram, street-wear silhouettes and focus on comfort. And let’s not forget the runway, which was turned into an airport arrivals hall with vintage Fendi luggage on the conveyor belt – a place where most people are dressed to be comfortable when going from one destination to another while taking a break from the fast-paced outside world. Much like the life on horseback, the space resonates a sense of freedom and peaceful state of mind, underscoring the soul and brilliant low-tech cut-and-paste spirit of Reilly’s horsey elements.