As a woman in fashion, I encountered many firsts when attending Pitti Uomo 96, the premiere destination for nearly 20,000 buyers and editors from 100 foreign countries, scouting the next big names and trends in menswear. As the heat set in, spirited men in three-piece linen suits lined the Fortezza da Basso, likely sweating profusely, but looking stylish while doing so. I decided to record my week in leather pants, sneaker neckwear, and countless chiseled jawlines.
TUESDAY, JUNE 11
First up for the runway was Paul Andrew’s inaugural menswear collection as Creative Director of Salvatore Ferragamo. The collection’s title, “Homecoming,” was a nod to the brand’s Florence roots; set in the Piazza della Signoria—the first catwalk to be held in the city’s main square—the show was anchored in relaxed silhouettes of a pastel color palette, paired with razor-sharp eyewear and sporty accessories. Among my favorite looks were leather pants paired with clingy knits, because nothing says high fashion like an unseasonably thick textile for summer.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12
Next came Marco de Vincenzo, debuting his first menswear collection where models marched down the runway in lurex knits layered under easy-pleated sets, some carrying potted plants in true millennial fashion. A pair of uber high-waisted denim trousers with exaggerated cuffs, which were paired with a loose button-down, are sure to remain at the top of my wish-list for the year to come.
Claire Waight Keller’s Givenchy collection was a hybrid of sharp tailoring—think three-button and double-breasted sleeveless jackets—and streetwear, complete with harnesses and hiking backpacks. Soft scarves were met with hard bike chain belts. Tight sleeveless tops were worn with loose jogger trousers. Suits were worn over tees…or nothing at all.
THURSDAY, JUNE 13
The MSGM collection marked yet another milestone for Pitti: this time, designer Massimo Giorgetti’s ten year anniversary of his namesake label. A mashup of two-tone leopard, bandana paisley, and kitschy novelty prints were paired with cowboy-like nylon hats and boat shoes. Acid wash denim purposely clashed with saturated tie-dye, and boxy tailoring was grounded with socks and shower slides. Sneakers strung over models’ necks, part of a forthcoming collaboration with Fila, were a highlight.
Perhaps the pièce de résistance, however, was another first: the debut of S.R. Studio. LA. CA. runway show, which marked the transgression of the contemporary art world to the fashion realm. The collection is an amalgam of four distinct points of view: its main line, S.R. Studio LA CA, ED. 50, a line of limited edition pieces, SOTO featuring textiles by Sterling Ruby Studio, and Unique, one of a kind pieces designed by Ruby. Together, the lines formed one consciously coupled collection filled with patchwork, bleached workwear and denim, and flag-printed sheaths reinterpreting Ruby’s fine art sculptures. It’s been an exhausting week, but fashion, like criticism, never sleeps. Off to Milan!