April 20 2014

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27 posts tagged "Pitti Uomo"

The Latest From Pitti: Less Is More


The economic news from Italy, Pitti Immagine’s ambassadors admitted at a diplomatic lunch mission today, is not good. But they contend they have every reason to be sanguine. The biannual Pitti trade fairs—menswear Pitti Uomo, womenswear Pitti W, children’s Pitti Bimbi, and the textile fair Pitti Filati—draw a more international crowd season after season; for the 83rd fair, to be held January 8-11 of next year, a full 40 percent of the vendors are international.

The big news so far has been the invited guests: Kenzo, which will present the Fall ’13 menswear collection, and Maison Kitsuné, which will stage its first ever show for women’s pre-collection. At lunch, Kenzo designer Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (left) professed their gratitude for the Pitti invitation, even if accepting it means their hectic international schedules, overseeing Kenzo and Opening Ceremony, became that much more hectic. (Leon estimated that he is now on a plane once every five days, with key stops in Florence, Tokyo, Paris, and L.A.) But in their way, Leon and Lim are shaking up the Pitti orthodoxies: They are, Pitti CEO Raffaello Napoleone said with a gasp, showing during the afternoon instead of the usual evening spot.

Kenzo and Kitsuné both hit a sweet spot a hair below the usual designer price point, which is likely no coincidence. “Smart casual is doing well,” Pitti Chairman Gaetano Marzotto announced in his opening remarks, calling out a bright spot in the market. (And adding, to a mostly tie-less crowd, “Like you are dressed now—you in particular.”) But the main-stage designers won’t be the only ones showing at Pitti. Among the other debuts will be Adidas SLVR, G-Star (which will show its latest collection created in collaboration with industrial designer Marc Newson), the returning Pitti veteran Andrea Pompilio, and the adored Japanese line White Mountaineering.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos/

Kenzo, Kitsuné To Bring A Bit Of France To Florence


Last season’s Pitti Uomo guest, Carven, brought with it a strong Gallic flavor to the Italian menswear fair, in the form of an old French tradition: the waiters’ race. Evidently the mood is lingering. The fair has tapped two French brands, Kenzo (designed by the American duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim) and Maison Kitsuné (by the Frenchman Gildas Loaëc and his Japanese partner, Masaya Kuroki, above) to present their collection at the fair’s 83rd iteration in January. Kenzo will show menswear, Maison Kitsuné womenswear. The fair runs from January 8 to 11, 2013.

Photo: Ami Sioux/Courtesy of Pitti

In Florence, The Stars Align


The Italians are noted for their national pride, but the opening night of Florence’s Pitti Immagine fairs this week—the menswear spectacle that is Pitti Uomo; the women’s complement, Pitti W; and the childrenswear fest, Pitti Bimbi—found Ferragamo celebrating an American: Marilyn Monroe. In fairness, Salvatore Ferragamo himself did pitch his tent in Hollywood, where he made shoes for the stars (including Marilyn, a size 6), and Monroe is an enduring icon. Why? “Marilyn is a quintessential actress,” opined Rose Byrne (above), who turned up to bring some celeb wattage (circa 2012) to the event. “Mystery, beauty, and tragedy—that will forever intrigue people.” So, it goes without saying, will clothes. A staggering variety of Marilyn’s were on display, including notable on-screen outfits, like the beaded black dress she wore as Sugar Kane in the immortal Some Like It Hot. Curator Stefania Ricci was at pains to pick just one favorite. Pressed to choose, she went for “photos of Marilyn when she was very young, blonde, with no makeup—photos that are [almost] an interpretation of death.” A more literal interpretation of Monroe’s death closed the exhibit: a tableau of a body in bed, as Marilyn was found. Spooky.

One star gave way to many as guests moved from the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo to Fiesole, in the hills outside Florence, for a dinner in plein air. Brunello Cucinelli threw his biannual Pitti opening celebration for a party of a hundred-plus, in a medieval castle dating back to somewhere between the tenth and thirteenth centuries (above). That’s the kind of history even Hollywood can’t cop to, though the site turned out to have had a few modern roles, too. During the second World War, it had been occupied by the Nazis, then was the site of a skirmish between them and combined U.S./Scottish forces. A bullet hole near the entrance hall serves as a permanent reminder. At his expansive booth at the Pitti Uomo fair today, Cucinelli glowed as he spoke of the beauty of the building and the beauty of Italy—one he aims to uphold in his collections. Seen his way, his trademark one-and-a-half breast jackets, down-filled gilets (with hand-picked down to avoid any sharp or rough segments), and ultra-light knits are practically a civic duty. “We believe in the state very much, so I have recalled all the great masters,” he said, via a translator, of his designs. “Italians need to raise our heads again. Our state is an incredible state, and I want to work for it.”

Photos: Courtesy of Salvatore Ferragamo; Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli

Carven Heads For Florence


The 82nd edition of Florence’s Pitti Uomo menswear fair will play host to Carven, Pitti Immagine announced today. The label, revived under artistic director Guillaume Henry (left), will show its latest men’s collection at the festival in June, following recent menswear guest designers including Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri of Valentino and Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders. To see Carven’s past menswear collections, click here.

Photo: Courtesy of Pitti Immagine

Valentino’s Creative Directors Prepare For Their Men’s Runway Debut


Tomorrow in Florence, Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli debut their Fall ’12 menswear collection as the invited guests of Pitti Uomo. The occasion marks the first runway show for the men’s collections, which the designers took over several season ago and have been quietly showing by appointment in their Place Vendome showroom—where it has been a quiet highlight of the Paris collections—ever since. In advance of tomorrow’s show, Chiuri and Piccioli spoke to about their couture sensibility, the idea of individual luxury, and their quest for the perfect piece. They’ve also shared two sketches of pieces that will hit the catwalk tomorrow; check back for the full looks, as well as Tim Blanks’ review from Pitti.

How do you approach designing menswear differently from designing womenswear? How do you see the Valentino man in relation to the Valentino woman?
Menswear in our vision is very close to the idea of personal and private luxury such as with the haute couture. It is a different result, of course, but the approach is quite similar… Volume and proportions are contemporary but with an echo of memory of sartorial and couture culture, silhouettes are cutting edge and sharp, constructions are very precise, maintaining lightness. [The Valentino man and the Valentino woman] share the same culture of couture and same spirit of effortless elegance.

How did you begin designing this season: Were there specific inspirations or ideas in mind, and how do these compare to what you’ve done in seasons past?
The world of couture. La sala Bianca. Antonioni and Pasolini. Mastroianni and Roman style. In the other collection, we were concentrated on translating the culture of couture in sportswear and modern wardrobe for contemporary men. In this collection, we aim to define our men with a more cinematographic attitude.

How did you research this collection? Does it relate to Valentino’s archival menswear, or is it more of a break with what’s come before?
This collection is close to the values of beauty and luxury of the brand, but our man is definitely far from what [he] was before. Beauty is individual and luxury is understated. You need a workmanship culture to buy a couture piece as you would need it to buy a sartorial jacket with the kind of innovation that takes place when tradition meets technology.

You’ve been showing your men’s collection in the showroom for the past several seasons. What do you have planned for your first presentation? Will it be a static presentation or a runway show? How are you working to incorporate Florence into the presentation?
A runway show, but with the intimate feeling of a couture show. Digital screens will give a new perspective and balance to the frescoes of the baroque rooms of Palazzo Corsini.

What do you think is the ideal outfit for a man? Do you feel that the ideal men’s outfit has changed over the years?
The perfect suit. The perfect shirt. The perfect tie. The perfect shoes. The perfect outerwear. The perfect denim. To be perfect, everything has to be authentic, but with the perfect proportions and a subtle something—everything is just about the obsession for perfection!

Photo: Courtesy of Valentino