The circus has left town, the cigar smoke has cleared and the throngs of finely dressed men have left the dandy-zone for another 6 months. All that’s left now is to reflect on what was probably one of the best Pitti Uomo Fairs we’ve seen in years.
For the uninitiated, the Pitti Uomo Fair has established itself as the premier event on the men’s fashion calendar. As opposed to the London Men’s Collection or Milan Men’s Fashion week, Pitti Uomo is not only for the major players and international fashion groups; it is also the ideal launch-pad from which as yet little-known brands, aspiring models, photographers and trendsetters from all over the world can establish their identities, share ideas and generate business. It is the unique atmosphere of openness, acceptance and celebration of men’s fashion in all its glory that makes doing business a pleasure and also entertaining.
As in previous years, the Philippe Perzi Vienna team was front and centre at the Pitti Uomo fair to capture all the colour, conviviality and crazes that we can expect to see next Spring/Summer and with this year’s theme “That’s Pitti Colour” we were in for a real treat
If last year signaled the arrival of the colourful blazer, 2015 was the year it firmly cemented itself in the wardrobes of Pitti men and against the backdrop of the “That’s Pitti Colour” theme, scores of gents at Pitti seized the opportunity to don sports jackets and blazers in vivid purples, mauves, mint green, and all shades on the red colour spectrum. In a slight change up from last year, plums, lilacs and mauve emerged as a trending colour this season, warming up the palate from the gelato colours worn by many at the Pitti Uomo fair in 2014.
Green was still very much on trend this this year. In addition to the pistachio green seen in 2014, mint green has arrived; it was worn stylishly on scarves, pocket squares, ties, shoes and blocks of colour on sports jackets.
The big surprise was red. Whilst often used as an accent colour in menswear, Pitti Uomo, gents splashed out on statement pieces and even wore it boldly head to toe, coupled with a devil may care attitude.
Hats and tatts
Ok, so tattoos are nothing new, if not ubiquitous nowadays, but it seemed a fitting title to sum up the crowd on day 1 of the Pitti Uomo Fair.
Under the heat of the Tuscan sun, many a Pitti gent donned a Panama hat, in a throwback to the elegance of silver screen chic, sensibly shading themselves from the harsh sun, whilst peacocking around the Fortezza da Basso. Worn in the traditional light beige with a wide brim and a two inch ribbon, these hats are not only a stylish choice but a practical one too. They travel well as they can be packed, rolled and still look presentable plonked on one’s head straight from the suitcase.
Pocket squares were definitely your ticket to ride at the Pitti Uomo Fair this year. Whilst the humble pocket handkerchief has always been the final flourish on the most stylish of gents outfits, this year we noted that it was the exception rather than the rule to see Pitti men without one, from the most dapper of chaps in a three-piece suit to the street-style of the most casual jacket. Florals, paisleys, polka dots and checks – it seemed anything goes with pocket squares, as long as you’ve got the right amount of flounce and flourish.
Knit one purl one
Knitted ties, the more casual cousin of the silk tie is a thing of simple beauty, but also a maverick of sorts – the ideal choice for rakes strutting around the Fortezza da Basso. In bold colours and also more neutral tones, we noticed that knitted ties were everywhere at Pitti this year. The knitted tie’s deceptive simplicity calls for confidence and a sure hand, something that is certainly not lacking at Pitti Uomo. One of the advantages of the knitted tie is that it has the ability to tone down a suit or sharpen up a casual outfit with the added bonus of being able to be scrunched up in ones suitcase and unfurled on arrival. Add that one to your list of travel hacks.
What a spectacle
A major trend that started to take hold last season that was well and truly reinforced this past week was the round frame retro style sunglasses, reminiscent of the 1920s and 30s and given iconic status in the 60s by the likes of John Lennon. With reflective colourful lenses, these bad boys added a hint of eccentricity to any outfit and were a refreshing departure away from the classic wayfarers, aviators and D-frames of previous seasons.
Rogues in brogues
The two timeless and iconic silouhettes, the penny loafer and the double monk-strap were of course staples at this year’s Pitti Uomo, with many gents venturing into suede fabric in purples, blues and greens to accentuate their outfits. One style that seemed to gain further prominence this year however was the two-tone brogue; with its detailing and stitching, this footwear is ideal when worn with a tailored look, however we saw men at Pitti Uomo teaming them with more casual trousers as well.
Teddy boys picnic
This year we saw a little 1950s British tailoring creep into the fray with pleated trousers and even suspenders worn with great effect by men at Pitti. Equal parts dandy and rock n’roll by association, this kind of tailoring is a nice change from the slim fitting Neapolitan tailoring which favours a slim build.
Floral print blossomed at Pitti this year, but we’re not talking the gaudy Hawaiian print variety, rather a small and tiny pattern which almost gives the look of confetti from a distance. Floral was everywhere from shirts, ties, scarves and pocket squares and looked blooming brilliant when teamed with just about everything. The beauty of floral print is that it can be as subtle as you like and can be worked into just about any ensemble because of the variety of colour you can choose from.
The mullet of the suit world
Ahhh, the great shorts-suit paradoxe; caught halfway between casual and formal, refusing to conform to either and yet it can look so natural when worn well. As is usually the case with Florence in June, the heat was certainly on and so it was no wonder many gents opted to ‘Get Shorty’ and show some leg. There’s no doubting it, the shorts-suit is certainly having a moment and shows no sign of abating. We think if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Street on the sneak
There was definitely more street wear this year at Pitti, possibly because the Fair just keeps on growing and growing with up-and-coming designers sprouting each year and this might be a sign of the new guard arising. Juxtaposed against impeccable tailoring, the shorts and T-shirt brigade were easy to spot, but we also noticed that more casual looks were being created by even the most smartly dressed men, which may have included wearing a cool pair of sneakers, a T-shirt or casual shorts with more tailored pieces layered over the top.
Classics are classics for a reason…
In spite of the torrent of bright colours this year, there was no getting away from the magnificence of a tailored blue suit. Classics are classics for a reason and thankfully, the blue suit, be it navy, azure or powder was still a mainstay of the Pitti Uomo crowd. With windowpane check, denim and linen fabric adding visual interest, texture and a more fashion-forward look, we love the silhouette created by the refined and immutable blue suit.
Double breasted jackets that permeated through men’s tailoring last season were still out in force but this year there seemed to be a return to the simpler single breasted, unlined and unstructured jacket with patch pockets.