A Pitti Problem

The famous trade show in Florence has long been a haunt for the self-regarding peacock but has Pitti gone too far and has the very respect for that understated, gentlemanly style been lost..?

Article by Will Field of Standeven Fabrics Photograph by Andy Barnham

Florence is a wonderful city, a marvellous computer I would say, but with village software. Invariably extremely busy at this time of year clogged with people coming to view its historic art and remarkable architecture. Whilst dodging swarms of tourists holding onto my beaten Panama hat, I was fortunate enough to have a brilliant guide who selflessly guided me between many of its treasured independent tailoring houses, restaurants and cafes which were cloaked under a veil of busy tourist rammed streets and photo hungry peacocks.

It is clear fashion has had a huge impact on this event and appeared to dominate with the expected nucleus of industry influencers orbiting around the private parties and media hungry plaza. Whilst I do love style and variety, for me bespoke is about being a gentleman, innately understanding the classic understated elegance at the heart of most things we do and wear. This is one of the many reasons I love Savile Row; centuries of artistic brilliance refined and curated rather than changed and tweaked along with the undercurrent of high fashion and the close knit snobbery that comes along with it. We do this not to be “Gentlemen” for the sake of image, but rather values and sartorial standards we try to live by.

Many Italian tailoring houses share this same philosophy and these reflective thoughts on the overall event do not relate to them specifically, but rather the overarching occasion and the majority in attendance – at least outside the trade show. On a more positive note some of the main highlights from this year’s Pitti for me included having the privilege to visit some of these exceptional Italian maestros whilst catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, gaining a better understanding behind the scenes, how and why they go about their craft and how it differs and relates to the way we do things in London.

I noticed some amazing creations over the weekend that were not necessarily flamboyant, lighting up the plaza with tight top stitching to show off the “handmade” elements or silly over the top hats and over exaggerated styling elements, but rather the said understated style being worn correctly under the Tuscan sunshine which, no doubt, was helpfully achieved by using brilliant craftsmanship put together with a little thought. Some of these creations were by the hands of the brilliant Salvatore Dalcoure, Liverano Liverano of Italy and Montelys of Madrid.

One day, in Florence or London, I would love to see an event similar to Pitti where bespoke is celebrated under a proper spotlight, embraced for the innate quality and elegance it brings the wearer rather than put on, strutted and sold out. With proper measures put in place to protect the true nature of bespoke from being over spoilt and degraded, I feel this can be achieved one day. riddle_stop 2

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