Seasoned dandies, the usual denizens of style, designers, buyers, bloggers and more influencers than ever were on parade in the Fortezza da Basso, which over the past few years has become more than merely a venue for the trade show. Rather, it’s become home to the biggest fashion event in the world – a 4-day long extravaganza of menswear, where the peacocks come out to play and set the trends for the next season.
This year the theme was Pitti Lucky Numbers, which saw the central piazza of the Fortezza da Basso festooned with dozens of colourful numbered flags, reaching approximately 10 metres high, which at times billowed violently in the wind. On occasion, the flags threatened to ruin the perfect ‘Pitti wall pose’ but fortunately no peacocks were harmed.
Here’s a summary of some of the key looks we saw over the last week to help guide you as to what you might be wearing Spring/Summer 2017
Dreaming of a white Pitti…
It’s no wonder plenty of gents chose to wear white at some point over the 4 days in Florence. Afterall, white trousers are a classic and fresh look and not new to Pitti Uomo. What was a little more surprising was the fact that so many chose to colour block in all white…there must have been a memo circulated at some point. It was the smart choice and with a tan, really made the gents stand out from the crowd. All they need to remember is, steer clear of the red wine and negronis.
Relax, when you want to go to it!
After a few years of seeing too many gents sporting suit jackets and trousers that were a little on the tight side, thankfully the pendulum has swung back to a classic fit and even more charming, is the throwback to a by-gone era where pleated high-waisted trousers are literally suspended from the waist. If 2015 was the year where men started to play around with suspenders and 1950s British tailoring crept into the mix, this year the look has firmly cemented itself.
It’s a block party
The organisers of the Pitti Uomo fair put a lot of thought into the theme every edition and this year, the theme of ‘Pitti Lucky numbers’ saw the central piazza of the Fortezza swathed in colorful flags which provided the ideal complement and contrast to the colourful suits and separate blazer ensembles that many men were adorned with over the 4-days. Whilst in previous years separate colourful blazers popped, this year we saw men in matching coloured jacket and trouser combos, bravely sporting vibrant red, purples and yellows.
True colours shining through
For those not blocking and popping, separates were the order of the day with blazers in pastel and more vivid colours on show. Judging by the groupings of gents in their flamboyant finery, it confirmed Pitti as a reputable peacocks paradise and firmly established that colour is King. But the latest addition to the Pitti colour palette was army or khaki green, with plenty of men choosing the shade to wear as hero pieces or opting for accents such as ties. This is a surprisingly easy colour to pull off and should be treated like a neutral.
A few good yarns
Florence is indeed a hot town, but summer in the city needn’t mean Pitti gent’s necks got dirty and gritty. One thing that the Europeans are so good at, is looking effortlessly stylish, even when temperatures climb into the 30s. Summer calls for lightweight and breathable fabrics that keep you from sweating too profusely yet also allow you to maintain a sartorial edge. Linen, seersucker, deconstructed cotton and fancy weaves such as malfilé fabric, were favoured by gents at Pitti Uomo. Tighter weave linens meant that suits didn’t crease too much throughout the day and Pitti peacocks looked as dapper at happy hour as they did walking through the gates at 9am.
If shorty wanna… rock, we rocking to this
The great short-suit paradoxe continues and it’s not going away anytime soon. In menswear, inspiration often comes from the military and then musicians and kids make it cool; the short suit is no different. There were plenty of men sporting short suits at Pitti Uomo this year…and they may have been having the last laugh as the mercury and humidity soared. The secret to pulling off the short suit is to make sure that your shorts are well-tailored and that you have confidence in spades to rock this look.
Retro futuristic optics
Neon mirrored sunglasses in aviator styles continued to abound at Pitti Uomo but it was side-shield glasses, with motoring and mountaineering origins, that really captured the imagination of the most avant-guarde gents. They’ve been around for the last century and designers have started adding them to their collections over the past couple of years, but we haven’t seen many men sporting this style till now. Style and functionality are always welcome, so these are certainly shades to look out for.
Cause you know what to do with the big wide brim…wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Hats are a mainstay accessory at Pitti Uomo. Not only practical in summer, they provide the perfect finishing touch or complementary accent to an outfit. Panama hats reigned supreme but also emerging as a trend were wider flat brimmed hats that affected a jaunty bearing to the most serious tailoring.
Walking on a dream
With so much action going on above the ankle, it is often easy to overlook what’s going on at street level at Pitti Uomo, which is ironic given most attendees at Pitti will tell you that their feet are numb by the end of the day, given the hours of standing and walking around. Monk straps were still clearly a shoe of choice as were some pretty cool sneakers, but it was the humble loafer (tassel and penny styles) that appeared to dominate the feet of Pitti gents.
Whilst the dandy zone might have cleared for the time being, cigars extinguished and the aperol run dry, it won’t be long till we start turning our minds to the Pitti winter edition…