Pitti Uomo, the world’s most prestigious men’s fashion fair, is held in Florence, Italy, every January and June. It’s always an excellent barometer for male dressing preferences for the season. My visit to the fair last month gave me a good glimpse of where men’s fashion is headed in the short term. Here are ten trends that I noticed.
COLOUR IS IN
From bright fluorescent pullovers (à la Paul & Shark X Nick Wooster) to funky shirts with vibrant patterns (Bob, Altemflower) or polos (by Shockley, with their upright collars bearing floral patterns on the reverse side), the time is ripe for adding more than just a splash of colour to your wardrobe.
Refurbishing old garments also seemed to be a big trend. A standout work was by the Japanese label Children of the Discordance with Naoto Yoshida, who collectively re-worked old Burberry trenches; sometimes it was subtle patchwork additions, but the zaniest was the lyrics of NAS’ famous song ‘It ain’t hard to tell’ graffitied on the back.
There is a decided shift towards including non-natural fabrics, or shall I say materials. These fibres are being used for their weatherproof capabilities, be it temperature control (as in 1177 socks) or waterproofing (as in the Monobi X Brahmino collab). Even Paul & Shark’s new line features many pieces that are reversible, with knit on one side and impermeable fabric on the other.
From socks to shorts (by the way, Happy Socks is launching beach shorts soon with their trademark cheery designs) to headwear (hunt for Beton Ciré marine-inspired cuffed caps and also colourful straw hats by My Bob). Most noteworthy was the tie collection by Maison F, which does short ties (that can also be done up as bow ties), teardrop bows, ascots and a very unique revival, the Twist bow tie from the ‘50s/60s. Another good one to add to complete your look but only if you are bold and baroque enough to rock it—are umbrellas by the Milanese brand, Maglia Francesco.
From handmade Taylor Tweed (denims) to Care Label, denim is never out of style. And then of course we have the czar of outlandish yet stylish ornamented denims from Robin’s, who remains a strong reference point.
While the usual suspects were all there, a standout brand was Verba, a young chap who is trying to reinvigorate his family’s decades old shoe manufacturing business. His approach is to break down the formality and stiffness associated with shoes, both metaphorically and physically. Expect high-end construct espadrilles, loafers and sneakers, the last one often in limited runs of about 900 pieces, with sketched decorations (I quite liked the Sushi Lover one.)
These guys were right next to George, Gina & Lucy (an old favourite), but the Superbag design aesthetic with its oversized zippers is a total show-stealer. The bags by this Japanese brand are just one of those ‘must have one of’ sort of things.
This Sydney-based brand is doing some honest and original work in the tints and shades business. Carl Zeiss lenses complete the very original and sometimes quirky framework.
CROPPED, SLIM, SNUG
If I had to sum up the current male look, it isn’t very flowy and relaxed. Instead, aim for a snug, skin-sitting and cropped, (for trousers, well above the ankles) look. Sadly, it’s not a look I can carry off (not without looking like a trussed chicken), so I will sit it out with my classics.
This was the most common trend across the board: men were near obsessed with layering their look. Even when keeping the overall look minimalist, there would be some sort of juxtaposition of fabrics, textures or colours, to provide a sense of depth to the silhouette