Power trip: the masterful moments of Pitti Uomo 93
From Z Zegna's wrapped up woodlanders to Brunello Cucinelli's exalt in craftsmanship, we chart the sartorial standouts of Pitti Uomo 93
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Z Zegna: The collections of Z Zegna are always based around outdoor pursuits. For A/W 2018, influence is drawn from the majesty of the Oasi Zegna – the natural park above the Zegna factory in Biella, which has been owned and maintained by the company since the 1920s. The overall mood is soft trekking; the clothes packed a heavy punch with their performance details and had a softer, rounded silhouette. In particular, the brand’s TechmerinoTM fabric featured throughout, from jersey to sweat-shirting and suits. For the new season, the innovative, totally washable material has been cut into smart, light-grey mélange flannel suits and nifty sock sneakers.
Brooks Brothers: At the forefront of the Pitti schedule were the 200th anniversary celebrations of America’s oldest retailer. Brooks Brothers presented their anniversary collections for both men and women with its first ever catwalk show, and a modest exhibition displaying some of its archive styles including a replica of the overcoat that the brand made for President Lincoln. A blue catwalk was installed inside the exquisite Salone dei Cinquecento at Palazzo Vecchio. On it, 51 classics were worn with a twist; a trench was inside-out, revealing its complex construction and red stripe ties were used as belts in homage to Fred Astaire, a customer of yore.
AI Riders on the Storm: The brand were all about innovative technology for A/W 2018. The collection, one awash with khaki tones and military details, featured an 100% waterproof ‘Clean Parka’, made from neoprene, cotton and Taslan, and outerwear featuring built in anti-fog lenses, ear filters and a mouth mesh aimed at reducing pollution. The collection also featured non-scratch polycarbonate lenses, which are 100% protective against UV light. Essentials sure to keep you feeling safe, sleek and smooth on the slopes.
Piquadro: Bags don’t get much smarter than Piquadro's BAGMOTIC range of luggage. Since 1987 the the company has continued to use innovation to create new systems of living; for A/W 2018 its smart suitcases are able to tell you how much they weigh thanks to a Bluetooth connected handle and can be unlocked with just the tap of your finger. It’s a brave new world.
Fratelli Rossetti: all of the styles in the Fratelli Rossetti A/W 2018 collection featured a statement zigzag stitch detail. Returning to Pitti Immagine after a hiatus of 6 years, the label presented its classic Brera loafer, the Oxford and the Derby styles in a lean choice of leathers and silks. Earlier last year, Rossetti created a limited edition sneaker with Leather Head Sports – makers of handmade American sports balls – exclusively for its New York store. The low-cut, athletic style has now been added into the mainline collection and will be available in a host of autumnal hues.
Birkenstock Box: the well-loved shoe company presented its latest footwear collections across 700 square meters lined in cork. Its latest sandals, boots, accessories, beds and newly launched natural cosmetic line were on display across different boxed rooms. In addition, a workshop was installed to mark an ongoing collaboration with fine jeweller Patrik Muff. Born into a family of craftsmen in Hochdorf, Switzerland, Muff trained as a goldsmith after studying art in Cologne. His atelier has collaborated on special editions with a diverse range from the artist Jenny Holzer to the Royal Porcelain Manufactory Nymphenburg. When Birkenstock first approached Muff six years ago, it resulted in a series of handcrafted clasps made from 925 sterling silver for the classic Arizona and Gizeh styles. For A/W 2018, the range has grown and will be made more widely available than ever before.
Corneliani: ‘Culture, tradition, craft – we are good at this in Italy. We own the sartorial idea of menswear,’ Stefano Gaudioso, global style director of Corneliani said at the presentation of the house’s A/W 2018 collection. Since joining the company in 2016, he has been working to reframe its formal classicism for the modern day. The essence of Corneliani is tailoring and the new season strives for a subtle effortlessness. It’s dialled-down sprezzatura: ‘The shapes are softer, the materials are softer and everything hugs your body. There are colours, but you don’t notice them. It’s about bringing the casual and the sartorial together,’ Gaudioso said.
Brunello Cucinelli: the brand looked to invigorate notions of natural elegance for the new season – traditional, luxury materials are combined with more modern inspirations. The look is layered; soft, nubby outerwear gives a cocooning silhouette that is still close to the body. With this re-interpretation of tradition, knitwear is worked to expose the quality of the yarns; stocking, cable and rib stitches create a patina of Cucinelli craftsmanship.
Colmar: For its A/W 2018 ‘Originals’ line, the Italian performance label was fascinated by contrasts, delving into a world where the street and the classic, the synthetic and the natural and warm and soft shades were offset against each other. Cuts came oversize and jackets were finished with fake fur insets and coloured maxi zips.
Herno: last year, the outerwear brand Herno unveiled the first iteration of its Untitled project – a capsule collection designed by the winner of the Who Is On Next prize. The initiative, organised by Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery and sponsored by Pitti Immagine Uomo, seeks out new talents in Italian design. The winner of the Herno Prize gets the chance to spend two seasons working on a project for the brand, resulting in a small range, produced under the Untitled label. For A/W 2018, designers Michele Canziani and Stefano Ghidotti of MILANO140 have created an 8-piece collection after a visit to the archives; stand out are a long puffa jacket with articulated drawstrings and a yellow felt duffle-coat with trench sleeves – a hybrid of an original design from the 1950s.
Woolrich: looking ahead to next season, Woolrich have collaborated with Griffin Studio, the cult label led by designer Jeff Griffin. The capsule collection reinterprets two all-time classics of outdoor wear – the Arctic Parka and the smock anorak. Both are completely reversible and gender-free, made from waterproof and breathable fabrics developed in Italy. Griffin was one of the first designers who bought Woolrich wool some 15 years ago. Today, his design studio is based in the 6 acres of Loveland farm in North Devon and so all of the styles created under the label The Griffin x Woolrich @ Loveland Farm have been put through their paces on England’s Atlantic coast.
Pringle of Scotland: the forthcoming season is the result of months of research into the textile traditions of the Shetland Islands. The collection looked at Taatit rugs, part of a Nordic tradition of pile bedcovers that were often joined in two halves after a marriage – here, this has translated into a series of pixel patchwork front jumpers. The graphic patterns worn by the island’s sheep farmers would have once been designed by a member of the family and A/W 2018 reinterprets these in unusual colourways. The season is about a reknitting of tradition; a reboot of craft. A Fair Isle knit is asymmetric in an alpaca blend; patterns are used as a texture to create subtle, knit motifs.
Tiger of Sweden: Christoffer Lundman joined Tiger of Sweden as head of creative and design only six months ago. He has spent that time building a vision for the label which comes with more than 100 years of history. His concept is grounded in a character study: ‘For me, it’s always about building a room in which to see people in these clothes,’ he says. The A/W 2018 collection looks to the golden age of Swedish cinema. At its core is Filmhuset, the house of the Swedish Film Institute built by architect Peter Celsing in the late sixties. Its inimitable founder Harry Schein and the revered film director Ingmar Bergman are also core to the cause. A geometric tiger print jumper in brushed mohair sits next to a compact mohair trouser, a washed moleskin coat and a technical memory nylon jacket. Lundman’s world is a cultivated, erudite place: ‘this is about a wardrobe of course, but also an idea of elegance,’ he says.
Bally: the brand delved into its rich archive of over 35,000 shoes, safeguarded in Schönenwerd, Switzerland. A hiking boot with two-tone leather detailing and metal grips on the sole from 1936 and heavy walking boots from the 1950s inspired the tidy A/W 18 collection. Stand out was the Chack hiking boot – a fat, lace-up style with a sturdy yet lightweight sole that would work both on the streets and the summit.
Margaret Howell: Fans of hardy, ageless clothes will enjoy Howell’s latest offering. For a while now the label has committed to a more relaxed fit with its tailoring, defining the codes for a new working wardrobe. For A/W 2018, all blazers are unlined – they have an unfussy elegance to them. New for the season is a blazer cut in lightweight Harris tweed woven by Fox Brothers & Co. Based in Wellington, Somerset, the company is one of the few working cloth mills still producing cloth entirely in England and Howell is the only designer using this particular tweed.
Parajumpers: the innovative luxury outerwear specialists bought seven new concepts to its A/W 2018 collection. This included the 'Limited Edition', the brand’s signature 'Gobi' bomber imagined with a reflex print, denim effect and in navy corduroy, the ‘Felted’ capsule collection, with outerwear imagined in felted wool and shearling, the 'Cotton Remastered' collection, created in collaborated with Agnes Kemeny, and featuring polar white cotton shell fabric and contrasting dark linings, and a versatile and feather light 'MasterLight' collection. We’ll take one of each!
Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.
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