Luciano Barbera on style:
It’s not enough to have beautiful clothes. Lots of people have beautiful clothes. In fact, some people have too many. What is important is what you do with them. On the following pages I share some comments on how I dress and what I have taught my sons. Of course,…
Listen, I know that I am a hopelessly commercially minded country ass fop. But I don’t even know what Pitti is. The Urban Ironic Angsters might say that “if you don’t know what Pitti is, then you don’t need to know” Ok, fair enough.
If Pitti is a trade show where vendors actually take orders and designers have mini-fashion shows etc then I think I get it. But all that we outsiders see are a bunch of skinny jeaned androgynous fops primping. And sun damaged (more than my bad case of it) older guys with zoot suit watch chains and Thom Brown short hemmed britches and pocket hankies spouting out like Southern azaleas in bloom.
The other sense I get is that everyone who is walking from one event to the next…or who gather in little five to six person gaggles to shoot the shit and compare whatevers…IS TRYING TO HARD. It’s like they are hoping Scott Schuman (sp) from The Sartorialist is gonna pop up any minute to photograph them and they’ve GOT to be…READY.
And finally, do you have to smoke cigarettes to gain admission to the thang?
It is a damn pity alright.
Will someone please wake me when the cavalcade of Pitti photos begins?
Apologies for the glibness, but I thought that this was an interesting post and deserved perhaps, a contrasting response. Mine is fairly simple, but I think it warrants merit. I’d also lead with the sense that these opposing camps may not get together any time soon, but let us bring forth the debate regardless.
I will start by saying that I look forward to Pitti when it rolls around twice a year, and have since I started following menswear. As a slight caveat, I have always veered towards the casual Italian tailoring spectrum, which may explain my interest in the show, but as a former New Englander, this I believe was rooted in my dalliances with the prep world and its bright colors and casual fits. I grew up with heritage/trad, appreciate it, understand the appeal, and even incorporate it into my own wardrobe (ask about the wide wales). I don’t think that it’s actually that far away from many of the looks I appreciate at Pitti. Yes, the fits have been altered, updated, what have you, and I agree in principle, that the men outside Pitti can be a bit dandyish, a bit foppish, and perhaps yes, a bit preening.
However, when, for the most part, the lives of these men revolve around clothing, at least in some way, you’d like to think that one, they believe they dress well in their own personal ways, two, they wouldn’t mind showing other people this fact, and three, if given the chance for free worldwide exposure, they’re going to damn well take it. I don’t actually see many skinny jeans in attendance, plenty of tapers though. I do see men wearing finely tailored bright-colored suits, as they have been, I’m guessing, since birth (again, in the style they are accustomed to). Lino is a man who runs a shop. His shop sells everything from beautiful black captoes to exquisite navy blazers. Is his shop known around the world because of those items? Most likely not, as it has come to prominence because of his personal style and the fact that he sells what he wears to those daring or willing enough to try it. Lino seems like a very passionate guy and Pitti seems like his stomping ground. While he may not have a booth, it must give him a great opportunity to network, see old and new friends, and show off his wares to the ever present free press.
Even pushing beyond the Linos and the Plutinos of the world, I think Pitti has much to offer, again perhaps more so if you have interest in the style that is heavily highlighted at this particular show, but nonetheless I believe most folks can find some sort of inspiration from the it, via the coverage online. On many blogs I follow, you can find booth shots and product views from any different angle. I’ve seen fantastic detail shots of everything from Cucinelli to Isaia, Tagliatore to Camoshita. Anyone should be able to appreciate what these brands have to offer in terms of quality and innovation, regardless of your personal style. I for one, love running through Tommy Ton’s Pitti albums, and the many varying combinations I see there never seem to get old. It’s also a good way to gauge the market and get an understanding of what’s being highlighted by both attendees and vendors. You can never have too much context I’d say.
I like to think that personal style is dynamic, even if it moves at an iceberg pace. If I find one more color or texture combination that I hadn’t thought about, then I’m happy to sift through a few pages of guys dressed in a “disagreeable” fashion. After all, it’s only twice a year. I’m planning on trying to attend this summer for work, so perhaps I’ll follow up then with further rationalization.(via downeastandout)