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Fashion / Retail

Pitti Uomo: 93rd edition

The 93rd edition of Pitti Uomo, the menswear tradeshow in Florence, has been packed with stellar off-site events: Gucci Garden – a boutique, museum and restaurant – opened in a former palace and there have been shows from Brooks Brothers’ (to celebrate its 200th anniversary) and Japanese designers Undercover and Takahiromiyashita TheSoloist. That’s not to say that the fairgrounds of the Fortezza da Basso have been quiet. The autumn/winter season is always busier than spring/summer (which makes sense: there are more clothes to be worn in winter than in summer so the market is bigger) and Monocle has traversed the halls and sidestepped the peacocks to bring you our favourite finds.

La Paz trousers (Portugal)

Corduroy was particularly popular at the last autumn/winter edition of Pitti and, while it’s not quite as ubiquitous this season, there are still plenty of brands making use of this retro material. The always-cool Portuguese label La Paz rendered it into smart pleated trousers in shades of electric blue and burgundy. The design is based on a pair of vintage trousers that co-founder José Miguel de Abreu picked up at a market.

Camo raincoat (Italy)

Stefano Ughetti, founder of this elegant Biella brand, had a strong collection this season, with striking jumpers made in a spigatto (herringbone) pattern and hardy forest-green trousers. This navy raincoat is made from a waterproof fabric produced by Majocchi, a Como company that specialises in technical materials for uniforms (its clients include Scotland Yard). We particularly like the roomy front pockets.

Bielo socks (Spain)

This up-and-coming Catalan label hails from La Llacuna, just outside Barcelona. All its items – loose-fitting jumpers in sumptuous cashmere and these cheeky woollen socks – are made in La Llacuna, close to the brand’s design studio. Its colourful products are stocked in shops such as Dover Street Market and Opening Ceremony.

John Smedley jumper (UK)

This historic British knitwear label is known for its fine merino numbers but this season there were a couple of chunky jumpers that caught our eye. There was a rollneck in cobalt blue and this crewneck, which is ribbed, made from a merino-alpaca blend and comes in dusty red with golden flecks.

Barena jumper (Italy)

For this showstopper, designer Massimo Pigozzo looked to the jumpers his mother used to knit for him when he was a child; she would repair them when they ripped, resulting in a patchwork design. The woollen crewneck – one of the most colourful items we saw at Pitti this season – is hand-knitted by a group of elderly women based near Barena's studio in Veneto.

Valstar coat (Italy)

This shearling-and-suede number from outerwear specialist Valstar – which made its name in 1935 when it released the Valstarino flight jacket – is made in Milan. It features horn buttons and a sizeable hood to keep the winter rain at bay.

Pairs in Paris shoes (France)

Caroline Robert, a Parisian designer, started her unisex trainer brand in 2013 after doing stints at Hermès and Castelbajac. Her understated leather kicks, which come in a range of muted shades, are made in Porto using French, Italian and Portuguese materials.

Parajumpers jacket (Italy)

This puffer jacket was dreamt up for Parajumpers, the Italian label famed for its sturdy outwerwear, by Japanese designer Yoshinori Ono. Dubbed the “Kegen packable” and made of polyester, it is light, waterproof and has taped seams to prevent moisture getting in. It can also be packed into a tiny ball and tucked inside one of its pockets.

De Bonne Facture hats (France)

Parisian designer Déborah Neuberg created these hats after watching the 1953 movie Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot, in which the main character, who epitomises old-school French style, wears a similar type of bucket hat. Known as “bobs” in French, Neuberg’s bucket hats are made in Châtillon-sur-Indre, central France, from waterproof organic-cotton ventile.

Belstaff jacket (UK)

Belstaff is branching out with a capsule collection of technical outerwear. The UK brand’s distinctive four-pocket style, historically found in its waxed-cotton motorcycle jackets, has been re-imagined in high-performance nylon. The lightweight jackets, which come in a range of silhouettes and shades, are waterproof, windproof and non-wicking, and have an interior layer of down to keep you toasty.

Writer
Jamie Waters
Photographer
Federica di Giovanni

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