When you go to Pitti Uomo you have to take a decision about what to do. Unless you are Houdini the magician, you must choose between hanging around the booths or joining shows like the amazing ones by Undecover and TakahiroMiyashitaTheSoloist and events. I took the second option, feeling guilty about all the things I must have missed. For this reason, following here you will find more atmosphere than product.
Bunyamin Aydin is the creative soul behind Les Benjamins. He’s based in Istanbul and I loved the way his collection avoided all the obvious imagery about Turkey. Because of his presentation I also met my personal Pitti heroine of the day, Suwa from South Korea, so I’m very grateful to the brand.
Fashion from Finland
These guys have something in common: they are from Finland and they all have some sort of delicacy in their eyes. From left, standing, you see Maria Korkelia who designed a small line for R-collection, Rolf Ekroth, Heikki Salonen the man behind Vyner Articles, Ikla Wright who did a collaboration with Turo, Teemu Muurimaki the creative director of Formal Friday and Timo Leskela who together with Niina designs Nomen Nescio. While Julia Mannisto , founder of Mannisto, Janne Lax, the shoe maker who launched Saint Vacant and Niina Leskela are sitting.
Finland was the guest nation for this A/W 2018-19 edition at Pitti Uomo. I talked to all of them and loved very much the stories they told me about their lives and their brands. Rolf was a professional poker player, Julia is a mix of Finland and Colombia and turns her cultural background into fashion. Timo and Niina are redifining minimalism using black only, by what they call a “Positive black” with Nomen Nescio. Heikki designs: “workwear for artists”, clothes to be comfortable with while creating something special. Teemu went back home and focused on Formal Friday after having worked in some of the biggest maisons worldwide. Ikla gently twisted the Turo formalwear into something in between traditional and hype. And Janne re-thought his shoe label Saint Vacant into top quality five styles only collection, because he was concerned about the waste was generating with a bigger production.
I asked them what do they have in common, if there is some way to define Finnish fashion. They said: “Nothing and that’s the good thing about us. Our customers like the fact that we are so different, unique. The only things we share are informations and mutual support. We are just a few doing fashion in Finland, we all know each other and we help each other“.
Brooks Brothers debut show for its 200th anniversary
The Salone dei Cinquecento inside Palazzo Vecchio is somehow the very heart of Florence. And that’s where Brooks Brothers organized its first show ever in two hundred years of history with the Italian Philarmonic Orchestra playing live.
Brooks Brothers should be called comfort style, for it never lets you down. You don’t expect the brand to be flamboyant, you just want to be reassured by that easy going sleekness. I also loved the exhibition they arranged downstairs with incredible pictures like the 32nd President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt wearing a Brooks Brothers cap at the Yalta conference in 1945. Or the 44th President, Barack Obama, together with the 45th, Donald Trump, on the latter Inauguration Ceremony, wearing the same Brooks Brothers coat.
He is definitely one of the stars of Pitti Uomo 93rd edition. He is Christopher Bevans, he comes from the States where he created Dyne. While in Florence he got the Innovation Award of the International Woolmark Prize with his own line (above right), presented the capsule collection he designed for Save the Duck (above left) and created an outfit for Athlovers (below), a special project by Pitti Uomo where five activewear brands presented a look created using active wool fabrics from the renown Italian producer Reda.
Concept Korea: Beyond Closet and Bmuet(te)
They are experimental and full of energy. I’m talking about Korean brands showing in Italy as part of the Concept Korea project, developed to make them known internationally. Beyond Closet is more colourful, Bmuet(te) has darker/romantic tones but they both proved that they have a vision and know how to turn into well made clothes. When Concept Korea first started to bring brands to Italy, some people looked down on them. Luckily, I didn’t see this happen again.
This was the debut show by Luca Magliano, who won the Who is On Next? Uomo in 2017 (the contest for upcoming designers created by the late Franca Sozzani in collaboration with AltaRoma in Rome). He brought irony and inclusiveness on stage with an unconventional casting and a bold styling. He put me in a really good mood, not bad in a rainy day.
It used to be Malibu 1992, but the name has been shortened into M1992. Dorian Stefano Tarantini founded it a few seasons ago and for this collection, he focused on some status symbols of the Italian Paninari urban street style from the Eighties. What an emotion to see again the El Charro buckles. A little more tricky was the super dark venue, before the show started. If you are old enough to remember El Charro, you probably have some trouble in reading or writing with a dim light.
“What we believe” was the title of the first collection created by the avant-garde magazine 032c. It was their wearable manifesto and they chose to show it inside the wonderful Palazzo Medici Riccardi. Because of such a special venue, only 100 people were admitted at the same time, so a long cue was quickly formed. We were all tired and probably feeling cold, due to the rainy weather, but we understood the situation and quietly waited our turn. I personally spent about 40 minutes standing and I felt so annoyed by those who probably think they’re better than me, who simply skipped the line. And I got angry with myself too, because I didn’t dare to say anything. I obviously survived the offence and I was totally rewarded by the magnificence of the Magi Chapel by Benozzo Gozzoli (below) inside the palazzo, still I don’t like rudeness and disrespect.
Photos Vanni Bassetti, Giovanni Giannoni, Proj3ct Studio