From a show held in a Florentine landmark to an appearance from a New York fashion legend, here are our highlights from the 95th edition of the menswear fair
- TextJack Moss
In recent seasons, Florentine fashion fair Pitti Uomo has played host to guest designers Raf Simons, Jonathan Anderson and Craig Green, making it a must-attend stop on the menswear trail. Yesterday, the 95th edition wrapped up – here, the moments everyone was talking about.
1. Y/Project’s torchlit show
Pitti regularly plays host to immersive shows which make use of Florence’s grand spaces, though few have quite matched Y/Project’s, which was staged in the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, the city’s cavernous gothic church. This season’s guest designer, the brand invited its guests through the darkened nave and into the outdoor cloisters, lit only by a small torch handed to them on arrival. Those torches were crucial to the final spectacle: the 3,000-strong crowd, including guests from Florence’s art schools, were responsible for illuminating the models as they walked the 14th-century runway. Y/Project designer Glenn Martens has made his name by subverting the everyday into bold new forms (he was responsible for those thigh-high Ugg boots), but here he did so with renewed elegance, amplifying and twisting the shapes of well-recognised garments: kilts, cardigans, trenches, the pinstripe suit, among others. Some pieces meanwhile felt entirely new – including a much Instagrammed pair of gold fishing waders.
2. Dapper Dan’s Gucci book launch
Dapper Dan was responsible for outfitting the luminaries of 1980s and early 1990s hip-hop with his legendary “knock-ups” – custom clothing and accessories made from bootlegged, monogrammed fabrics from Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Gucci. The latter, whose creative director Alessandro Michele has cited the designer as inspiration, helped him reopen his previously defunct store and workshop in New York’s Harlem neighbourhood as the Dapper Dan Atelier Studio last year. Now, Michele has partnered with him on a book shot by Ari Marcopoulos, which documents his creative process and Harlem itself. The limited-run publication was launched at Gucci Garden in Florence on Tuesday and featured an appearance from Dapper Dan himself, which saw people queuing around the block. Guests were also treated to new spaces at the Florentine museum-slash-store-slash-restaurant space, including a room entitled Il Maschile – Androgynous Mind, Eclectic Body, a reflection of masculinity across the house’s history, alongside wall paintings around the palazzo by Italian artist MP5.
3. When Canali’s boys read Call Me By Your Name in a palace
Presented in the decadent surroundings of Palazzo Antinori – a Renaissance palace still occupied by the Antinori family – Canali’s ‘Soft-Wear’ A/W19 collection was showcased by models in various settings around the grand house. In keeping with the collection’s name, tailoring was cut with relaxed proportions, in soft cord and herringbone; while other fabrics – baby alpaca, cashmere, vicuña and silk – further added to the sense of luxuriant ease. Models put the collection to good use, reclining on sofas or reading a book – we spotted one engrossed in André Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name (Canali branded, of course).
4. There were plenty of firsts
This season, there were a number of first-timers. Korean brand Beyond Closet made its Pitti debut with a confident collection that riffed on American prep, while veteran designer Aldo Maria Camillo, who previously worked at Berluti alongside Haider Ackermann, presented his first collection which comprised pared-back tailoring inspired by 1990s Helmut Lang. There was plenty of newness from established names too: Margaret Howell gave a preview of her upcoming collaboration with Barbour, which will appear in the A/W19 show in February; Z Zegna debuted a jacket that charges your phone as it sits in your pocket; and Woolrich’s brand new outerwear (which includes a collaboration with cult Japanese brand Beams) was put to the test in a below-freezing “extreme weather room”.