It has come and gone. Once again, Florence was invaded by a swarm of fashion anoraks in winter coats. For many, a chance to do some of their most important business of the year, for some, a chance to play dress up and pose for the photographers, and, for others, simply a fantastic opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. While we would never fully admit which group we belong to, our representatives at this particular Pitti were Mr Tobin Gattinger (our newly-minted store manager), Mr Yves Yannick Stork (trusted contributor to this blog), and, of course, the Moggmeister general himself. It should come as little surprise if we say that very little has changed (let alone for the better) in the world of classic menswear since our last visit. However, when the sartorial Gods (sporting immaculately shined oxfords and tasteful flannel suits) close a door, they always make sure to open a window. We spent most of the time enjoying the local cuisine and Florence’s almost incomparable offering in terms of museums.
Casual, casual, casual
While we did consider focusing on restaurant tips (and hangover cures), we have set ourselves the task to provide our thoughts on Pitti and we shall do so. We refuse to discuss the peacocks and will not waste the text space here, not even to complain about them. We will focus on the grown-ups. Unsurprisingly, everything is getting more and more casual. Shirt and tie have been eschewed in favour of rollnecks, mid-grey, charcoal, and dark brown suits were often paired with sneakers, and the colour palette is muted and tonal. We’re not going to judge other people’s fashion choices in aesthetic terms. A lot of the outfits were very well put-together. What is a bit unclear is whether this sort of attire is actually appropriate for a trade’s fair. We don’t consider it particularly respectful to those actually trying to do business. Just our two cents.
Preppy, preppy, preppy
Evergreen preppy clothing will always be cool and some of its finest purveyors were on show at Pitti this year. Lots of light-blue and white OCBDs and wide-wale corduroy suits, occasionally paired with chunky knitwear. The natural choice to round these outfits out is the humble brown penny loafer. Our only real complaint would be that the trousers legs still remain also comically short.
There was an interesting resurrection at Pitti this year. The beret, long believed to be dead outside the sphere of agèd academics, has had a resurgence of sorts. When worn with the right amount of panache (think Ethan from Bryceland’s), it’s actually very cool, much to our surprise.
Trouser legs have gotten wider and jackets have gotten longer. We aren’t sure, but we believe we did hear an angel’s choir at one point. The narrow and short silhouette is dead. The king is dead, long live the king! Double-breasted suits are also back with a bang, sans 1980s connotations.
Colour at the end of the tunnel
Knitwear is one of the most interesting battlegrounds at the moment. A particularly striking look is knitwear reminiscent of the work of Piet Mondrian and the De Stijl movement. However, caveat emptor; this is a job for professionals. It needs to be done right to avoid coming off as very pretentious and affected.
No matter what happens in the sartorial world, Pitti will always be the place to be. If only to hang out with some of the best people in the industry. We’re already planning our next visit in June. See you there! MM/DC