x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Sartorial splendour at Pitti Uomo

We break down the best trends and looks at the Pitti Uomo menswear fair in Florence, Italy.

Kolor runway show. V Bassetti / Pitti Immagine
Kolor runway show. V Bassetti / Pitti Immagine

To understand the scale of Pitti Uomo - the fashion fair in Florence attended by retailers, editors and menswear enthusiasts from around the globe - just look at the numbers: 1,043 brands showcasing their latest spring/summer collections in 59,000 square metres of floor space, with over 30,000 visitors registered. First staged in the early 1950s, it's where obscure brands become household names, and where the scene's reliable players present their latest wares. Simply put, trends are made here. James Gabrillo breaks down Pitti's movers and shakers straight from the Tuscan city turned style stadium

Best collection

At MSGM, the Italian designer Massimo Giorgetti reintroduced tie-dye to the fashion world with a colourful sportswear line inspired by the 1990s skate and surf scene, as well as - curiously - the actors Brandon Walsh and Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills 90210. "Tie-dye is our new mantra," said the designer. Presented, quite aptly, at a ramshackle warehouse beside the train tracks, the incredibly graphic garments remained wearable. At the base of all the flourishes is Giorgetti's impeccable tailoring. The more conservative customer could put on the jumpers, tees, anoraks and trousers separately as accent pieces.

MSGM is stocked in Harvey Nichols, Mall of the Emirates

Best antithesis to summer

The Japanese label Kolor veered away from colour for the season of sun. The shy designer Junichi Abe layered together basic blacks in lightweight pieces, in everything from capes to hats. Drab or debonair? At the very least these easy black looks could be recreated by any guy - and at any price.

Kolor is stocked at MrPorter.com

Best trend

Longer and fuller shorts are being advocated by several designers. Unlike the pairs made for shooting hoops, this new variety is tailored and often pleated, the waist fixed and the leg billowing, striking a balance between utility and eccentricity. Cleverly conceived, they look comfortable and so cool.

Best back story

African ethnic patterns made a big splash in the collection of Stella Jean, who hails from Italy and Haiti. Her vivid and exotic work brought together worlds at opposite ends of the spectrum, such as traditionally European striped shirts constructed using wax printing and fabric techniques from West Africa. Jean is a supporter of the Ethical Fashion Initiative, founded by the United Nations and the World Trade Organisation, which provides a platform for handwork by disadvantaged African women.

Best section

Turkey was this season's guest nation at Pitti Uomo - or "Seven Gentlemen of Istanbul by Seven Designers from the City on Seven Hills", as the section was named. Turkish textiles were present across the work of the featured artists. The standouts are Elif Cigizoglu's strong use of geometric shapes and Asli Filinta's fanciful stitching and do-it-yourself aesthetic.

Asli Filinta's clothes are stocked in Bloomingdale's, The Dubai Mall and s*uce boutiques. Look out for our interview with her here in Arts&Life

Best presentation

Unveiling his new line, Turkey's Serdar Uzuntas staged a game of checkers featuring models donned in his designs. Using a soft but strong palette, Uzuntas paired tailored blazers and shirts with shorts - apt for the scorching weather out. The clothes were punchy, but never excessive.

Best accessories

While pocket squares and ties were all-around popular, there was a particular accessory combo adapted by many of the attendees: the hat-sunglasses-moustache look seemed to be on the trend ascent. All the better to catch the humidity.

Best shoes

The big shoe story at Pitti was soft slippers and graphic loafers. Camo, lush floral and animal prints cropped up in shoe lines all over the fair. At Aquazzura, decorative details like silver beading were used as embellishment.

Aquazzura is stocked at Level Shoe District, The Dubai Mall

Best hair

Right from the first runway show, we noticed that most models were sporting retro-inspired mops. As the week went by, the trend was sealed: there's a move towards a thicker, tousled mane - a refreshing departure from waxed-up, slicked-back and polished buzz-cut 'dos.