LAURA MULLEAVY, SCOTT STERNBERG, AND KATE MULLEAVY
Italy met California at the Trump Soho's Quattro Gastronomia Italiana on Tuesday, when Pitti Immagine held a luncheon in anticipation of their upcoming international fashion fairs in Florence. The next editions of Pitti Uomo and Pitti W (each held twice during the year), to take place in Florence in mid-June, will feature special projects by West Coast guest designers Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders and Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte.
Over parmigiana di melanzane in forma and orata in guazzetto di crostacei, Raffaello Napoleone stressed the scope of Pitti's work: "Pitti is always looking for what is the most refreshing and interesting on the international fashion scene. Fashion is, of course, at the core of the project, but it exists in a wider frame, in a wider vision. We ask our designers to show that vision through fashion, which most of the time, is dedicated or inspired by Florence. We are not simply a sponsor of a fashion show. Even though we are working with young fashion stars, Pitti helps them develop their vision and their ability to connect different works."
The Mulleavy sisters and Sternberg were a natural choice for this season's editions of Uomo and W; while the designs of the labels are quite different, both, says Lapo Cianchi, Pitti Immagine's director of communications and events, "connect us to the mythology of Western America. The European curiosity about California culture and the landscape played an important role in Pitti's design to invite both designers to Florence at the same time." Rodarte will present a site-specific, all-new collection in June; Sternberg will be showing Band of Outsiders' men's Spring/Summer 2011 collection, as well as his Boy and Girl Resort 2012 collections. He mused, "I think it's such a great fit working with Pitti, because we share the same sense of boredom with traditional runway shows, and in turn a sense of ambition and adventure when approaching an event like this."
And if collections like this don't entice you to book a trans-Atlantic flight, Napoleone enticed would-be travelers with these parting words: "There are now direct flights between JFK and Pisa. Just imagine, in only a few hours time, you'll be under the bending tower and then on your way to Florence to see the shows."