The new year has only just begun, and we’ve already got menswear on the mind. While Milan Fashion Week Men’s is currently in full swing, other Italian fashion destinations are calling our names. That’s why we recently took a trip southward to see this season of Pitti Uomo, the biannual menswear event in Florence, Italy. Now that the event is over, Schön! is giving you a backstage look at two shows that stuck in our memory, all with the help of photographer Eeva Suutari.
Naturally, we have to mention Jil Sander. Designers Lucie and Luke Meier, co-creative directors of the brand since 2017, were Guest Designers for the event, and they took the opportunity to showcase their latest menswear collection for the Autumn/Winter 2020 season. This collection was defined by its geometry and tailoring. Classics are reconfigured, with certain elements enlarged or extended to dramatic effect; one can look to the extra-long knit vests or lengthy polo shirts for examples of this. In other areas, this idea of classic reconfiguration was taken in a different direction, instead reducing the pieces to their core elements; the removal of lapels across the collection was a noteworthy touch. Other aspects of note were the watercolour motifs and breadth of bag offerings.
Our second backstage view takes us to Random Identities, the project helmed by designer Stefano Pilati since his departure from Ermenegildo Zegna Couture in 2016. This season shows that the name Random Identities is no misnomer; set ideas like gendered clothing are brought into constant question during the collection, making for a series of looks that, as Pilati himself explained, “inspires young adults to be themselves in how they dress, instead of trying to identify with another person’s style.” Skirts and bras abounded with pleasantly zero regard for the gender of those wearing them. This is not to say that every piece in the collection was strikingly bold or unconventional. Minimalist trousers, jumpers and coats offered a solid base upon which the collection — and its wearers — could easily build.
Although he’s a relatively recent entrant to the international fashion community, Finnish designer Rolf Ekroth is already making considerable waves. This season, his creative output is taking the form of a futuristic winterwear collection for Swedish brand Terinit. Terinit was only relaunched in 2018 and, in that short time, it has already managed to turn a few heads with the help of designers like Ekroth. Ekroth pulled from multiple sources for this collection; while snowboarding culture is an obvious influence, traces of science fiction and military aesthetics are also present throughout the collection.
Telfar Clemens is new to Italy but with this collection he’s proved that he’s settling in nicely. As a guest designer at Pitti Uomo, Clemens kept is casual, opting to present his show on a table where he had previously eaten dinner the night before (and where soiled food still lingered). This casualness seeped into every fibre of the collection, with loose-fitting androgynous looks emerging as dominant. The collection was difficult to plane on a gender spectrum (and, much Clemens’s previous work, it ought not to) but it was even harder to place in terms of time. Looks ran the gamut from Victorian to vintage to downright futuristic. While the bags have been a popular takeaway, let’s not forget about the cowboy boots emblazoned with Telfar’s now-iconic logo.
Completing our coverage is the Dust Magazine-curated “Otherwise Formal.” The mission of this show was to subvert the audience’s ideas of formality. As formality becomes less and less necessary in day-to-day life — we’re looking at you, start-up culture — what does it mean to be elegant, or even simply well-dressed? “Otherwise Formal” exists to answer those questions, showcasing everything from jumpers to technical outerwear and more in an effort to present how “everyday man” appears today. But these looks were not run-of-the-mill; we appreciated the colourful, oversized accessories in particular as pieces that broke the norm. It’s a conversation that reminds us why we keep coming back to Pitti Uomo, and we already cannot wait to return.
Discover more about Pitti Uomo here.