Silvia Venturini Fendi has been working on a special menswear project for a few seasons now. Baldly stated, she wants to play up a man's vulnerable side, to emphasize his eccentricity and ambiguity over his straight-ahead masculinity. Inevitably, this is not the kind of project that draws wide acclaim, but it is producing some of the most provocative menswear in Milan. For spring 2008, Venturini Fendi adopted the principle that "less is more": She proposed outfits composed of layers at times so light they were almost invisible. Sheer linen knitwear was laid like a veil over a shirt and tie. Nylon organza made see-through blousons in white or pale yellow. Believe this if you will, but it was Venturini Fendi's way of acknowledging the apocalypse of global warming. She is about to become a grandmother, so obligations to the future were on her mind and, without the wherewithal to make the necessary structural changes, she was doing her bit for individual solutions (as in, it's hot/cold, I need less/more clothes). By that same token, the collection offered roomy totes composed of leather and recycled Fendi canvas woven together.

Small gestures perhaps, but mighty oaks, etc. More in keeping with the house's artisanal roots were a tiny Ali Baba-like waistcoat and blouson in leather with Byzantine embossing. And the very particular brand of decadent male glamour that Fendi excels at was well represented by pailletted tops and evening pants in a silky, translucent black nylon.