Saturated color and pattern from surf style, Haitian dandies in wax prints and stripes, kaleidoscopic sportswear, and pajamas were standouts in the spring 2014 menswear shows held during Florence’s Pitti Uomo.
Showcasing up-and-coming Italian brands in its Italics lineup, Fondazione Pitti Discovery kicked off with MSGM by Massimo Giorgetti, who packed an annex of the old Stazione Leopolda with models on skateboards to show off its color-charged surf and skate style in a tidal wave of chaotic pattern. Launched in 2009, the sport brand for men and women already sells to a big list of stores, including Bergdorf Goodman in the US. Giorgetti, who developed a passion for indie music while growing up in Romagna —his favorite bands are MGMT and The Strokes—recalls Italian teenage disco hedonism in his no-limits mix of pattern on relatively classic sport shapes.
Stella Jean, also part of Pitti Italics, presented her first men’s collection, incorporating her winning formula of vivid wax prints and stripes into tailored jackets, shorts, and knits. Jean’s color and pattern sense comes from her Italian-Haitian roots; the wax is inspired by Mama, and the stripes are inspired by her dad from Turin.
Andrea Pompilio designed his first sneaker for Onitsuka Tiger about a year ago, and now there’s an entire collection of clothes to go with the footwear. Pompilio works on the sneakers in Amsterdam and develops the clothing in Japan; and the combination of Pompilio’s buoyant way with pattern and Japanese print expertise is a winner. For spring, he took a kaleidoscope to repeat miniature roses, childish splatter, and wood-block prints, and Onitsuka’s trademark tiger heads, in shapes inspired by ’50s greasers, from varsity jacket tops to high-waist warm-ups pleated like Zoot trousers in offbeat baby blue and white.
Given that the best style rule is to relax and be yourself, Tuscan Emiliano Rinaldi’s collection, which he showed out in the grass in front of Florence’s Villa Vittoria, is a no brainer. Rinaldi’s combination of easy cardigans in a mix of Lurex stripes and color, dressing gown coats, and bed jacket and pajama tailoring blur the boundary between night and day.