Another Pitti Uomo has come and gone, and as much as we try to predict how Pitti people will express themselves, there are always unforeseen surprises.
To help those unfamiliar with Pitti Uomo understand the dynamics at play---this monumental, semi-annual, famous (some say notorious) trade show in Florence is more of an event than a trade show for a large chunk of attendees.
If you want to attend, you must preregister and prove you're affiliated with the menswear business, whether you're a reporter, blogger, promoter, buyer or seller.
This year, upon entering the show, those ill-prepared for the unexpected cruel climate found themselves shaking in their double monks, because it was unseasonably and unreasonably. Cold.
Since I know a Pitti Uomo report must follow our visit, my eyes scan the arena to pick up anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary.
I notice that this time, the lookers who command each of us to stop-and-stare at their well-dressed selves are more difficult to spot this year.
But most strikingly, several of the well known once-gallantly-dressed attendees appear to feel quite good about showing up in jeans and a military jacket, as if they have somehow transcended the need to dress for Pitti and view those who dress for the occasion as try-hards (as they themselves had once been in earlier days, before they became wise). This is my personal interpretation, of course.
But the photographers, like heat-seeking missiles, gravitated towards the well dressed gentlemen and seemed to ignore most of the rest. I couldn't help but see the same analogy of 'catching attention' in everyday life, as the masses wearing jeans and pullovers multiply, making the well-dressed gentleman stand out now more than ever.
No doubt the phenomenon of the Silicon Valley mandatory dress-down-code has filtered down across the world (see Executive and Peer Pressure to Dress Down, Really?). But common sense tells us that as more people fade into a background of a sea of blue jeans, khakis and any-old-shirt, standing out from the crowd through wearing well-crafted clothing may become much easier for the sartorially inclined.
Let's keep watch to see what develops for menswear in the future ; the story promises to be intriguing.
Last winter brought an onslaught of white trousers, countless shock-color casentino overcoats, and a sea of scarves. This year, the popularity of red turned to a shade of wine, or shall we say bordeaux--which appeared to be the color on the scene.
Because it was so cold, in order to warm up, attendees, promoters, reporters, bloggers and photographers wandered indoors much more often than usual---the place where the selling and buying of menswear actually happens and where the main purpose of Pitti Uomo is fulfilled.
Whether inside or outside the trade show, a core group of sartorial dressers were indeed present.
Here are a few observations:
Denims were spotted throughout the crowd , but few photographers seemed compelled to take shots of people wearing blue jeans. Is a growing niche of Pitti-goers intentionally dressing-down? [Captured by The Korean Barber]:
Herein lies the Pitti surprise.
I guess you had to be there to spot a panorama of backpacks. Once again, photographers showed little interest in capturing the sheer number of men channeling their Silicon Valley dressed-down selves. [We found this photo by the Pitti Immagine Uomo official site, with many legs missing, possibly to mask all the blue jeans?]
Yet, even if a lot of attendees decided to lay low this year, plenty of others celebrated their sartorial selves.
Almost every other sartorial themed photo seemed to have a splash of the color bordeaux at Pitti 91, with deep browns and blues not far behind [as captured by Miguel Vieira of beyond fabric for Finaest.com ] :
The hat-pack returned this year. The Fedora ruled, but straighter-rimmed hats also made a strong showing [captured by Andreas Klow of flannels_and_tweed for The Style Forum Journal.com] :
The Dandy life lives on, and we admit that it can be hypnotizing to spot a dandified man or woman. As a growing niche crowd, we found the dandys to be particularly more refined this year, with far fewer circusy-vibes circulating. [Captured by David N Yanzi for Nyanzi.com ] :
Markedly shorter overcoats appears to be the next new thing. Although the look is indeed sportier, the icy air at Pitti 91 wasn't compatible with the shortening of the coats. [Captured by The Storyalist ].
Anything but a standard shirt collar seemed standard this year. Particular shirt-collar-style standouts included the rounded collar and the long-point collar. [captured by Giuseppe Manzone and Marol 1959, respectively].
Scarf simplicity ruled—no need to complicate things by tying your scarf. [Captured by Fabrizio Di Paoloph ] :
Although no one was actually driving, a lot of men looked behind-the-wheel-ready. [Captured by Philippe Perzi Vienna] :
More women than ever appeared comfortable wearing good suits and well-tailored overcoats, as it has become widely accepted that a woman wearing a tailored suit ain't no big deal; and moreover, a woman in tailored clothing can create a wonderful effect. As superstar Ellen Barkin once said "There is a certain androgyny to my appeal"... [Captured by The Storyalist, Black Dresses Blog, and Her Suit Style]