An Exclusive by Lucas Pantoja
The first day of Pitti Uomo 96 fashion fans are introduced to some heavy hitting moments; from Pitti’s Guest Nation China and their edgy street wear interpretation, to Salvatore Ferragamo’s pastel runway of leather pants and lofty suits, and the IED (European Institute of Design) sustainable collections presented by students in collaboration with “Greenpeace Italia” and “CID-Detox”.
To captivate fans early on Pitti Uomo presents an ever so wide-ranging display of Spring 2020 fashions across 12 large pavilions, each with their own theme. The pavilion aesthetics coupled with the clothing designs’ free-flowing-spirit of loose fits, relaxed silhouettes, and technically-charged-experimentation has energies around the trade show surging.
The Pitti Uomo Playground
At the “Touch” pavilion Pitti fans have a chance to explore the Pitti Uomo fairgrounds. Visitors find brands all with an emphasis towards artisanal reconstruction and deconstruction, crafty embleshings, as well as quality compositions.
Born In The USA
Notable LA based Yuketan and sibling brand Monitaly presents a cluster of garms perfect for a Californian youngster dedicated to keeping it casual. But this gear is particularly more sophisticated than the everyday urban brands. If only their three-piece, relax-cut denim cow print suit was in stores before the “Old Town Road” music video dropped. I’m betting Lil Nas would’ve shined in it.
Besides this, the brand also plays with qualities of preppiness, such as a madras cut and sewn jacket looking like the quintessential Japanese Ivy League flip.
Aside from Monitaly and the artisanal Made-In-USA leather footwear Yuketan, there is Italian brand DRM. Their unique approach towards outerwear playing with the juxtaposition and contrast of nylon and leather creates the kind of gear you just have to feel to appreciate. The materials with the oversized design hint at sportswear. To make their jackets even more attractive the brand plays with patterns, my personal favorite being the plaid piece.
Pitti Uomo Originals
While inside the popular “Touch” pavilion I stumble across Native American designer Samantha Platero of DINEH. The Santa Fe based brand offers a fresh vision of indigenous American inspired designs. Samantha who is Native American herself, grew up with grandparents who actually designed, crafted, and sold jewelry which she now hunts for on global marketplaces like Ebay.
Samantha aspires to design products with the same craft quality as her grandparents but evolve the essence with a bit more modern flare. She’s spent time gaining experience within the fine jewelry industry in London and LA. Her experience in the industry is what made Samantha decide to go for it with her own brand. In a side conversation she told me she decided to start DINEH after learning that real craftsmanship can still be sold on an international level as well as noticing the lack of Native American involvement in the appropriation of Native American designs.
“I found it very odd, that other people were taking advantage of this craft that has existed for hundreds of years, so I wanted to create DINEH to provide a platform that still practiced the craftsmanship and the technicalities of creating authentic Native American jewelry at the level that my grandparents did.”Samantha Platero
Guest Nation China
Inside the temporary pavilion for Pitti Uomo’s Guest Nation China, urban-style seemingly reigns supreme but not without an innovative edge full of grit. Untitlab, a brand which focuses on leather footwear, has a variety of progressive design enhancements. They’ll have your cowboy boots looking like John Wayne’s, if he were a Sex Pistol. And your derbies looking extra bulky for moshing at any hardcore event.
Pronounce is the brand gaining extra popularity and that staged a show during Pitti. The China based brand offers up a new refined approach blending urban and classic style fashions, complete with a contemporary and cozy silhouette.
Florentine Monarch Salvatore Ferragamo
As the first day of Pitti Uomo 96 draws to a close, who better to draw the curtains than the Florentine monarch brand Salvatore Ferragamo, led by creative director Paul Andrew. One word I heard to describe the presentation by a fan outside the show which was held in Piazza Della Signoria was “lazy”. And since then the word has stuck with me when looking back at the collection.
But don’t be mistaken, it’s not the kind of lazy that you might call your family member who never gets off the couch — but rather “lazy” in its most elegant nature. The collection features relaxed fits, in a luxurious and refreshing sense. Highly-advanced short-sleeved shirts and a perfectly cut tank top, accompanied by unstructured, dangly tailoring and lightweight coats all in shades of spring pastels: it was a smoothie on a runway. Not to forget a favorite staple of mine, those relaxed leather pants.
Ferragamo seems to be pushing for something a bit more chill in these times of rising temperatures, and I’m all for it.