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Sunday, January 12, 2014

What A Pity About Pitti

One must wonder how much some of these men must prepare for Pitti Immagine. I can see them getting ready in their shoe box bedrooms laying everything out and snapping it for instagram and then loading it into luggage they probably bought instead of getting a mortgage on an apartment. Then they close the door, snap a photo of the weather outside, load that up onto instagram, add a hash tag a few more times, think about a great hash tag that they might be missing then press send. Then they trawl Luca Rubinacci's account to see what he might be wearing and take a taxi to the train station. We're en route for Florence....

I am new to fashion. I didn't spend my life in magazines. I never had much time for models and I don't like the hoo-ha and fanfare that is often attached to people who work in this business. However, when I first started watching Pitti on the blogs a number of years back I was totally enamoured. Perhaps I was already late to the party but I felt that a number of these guys were genuine, original and fresh. The difference between fresh and old hat is perhaps a very short walk these days with the way in which we consume social media. Sadly, I found Pitti this year to be truly pitiful. Most of the of photos I consumed were either of original icons who sadly had not evolved - like a magician with one trick. The balance were lost little lambs following the latest trends.

What can we assume from Pitti this year? Well, if I were to interpret some of the images I had seen, then by a process of very quick free association, here are some things that spring to mind.

* Luca Rubinacci has earned himself a following. His skivvy, long trench in herringbone, muted colours, colourful scarves and wide brimmed fedora was mimicked a number of times. 
* Smoking a cigarette and talking to another iconic Pitti subject is the portrait that will win you a place on a blog.
* Looking like you are not that self-confident and just wanted to turn up to be a part of it is 'soup du jour'
* Try to make friends with other guys that are snapped up in photos, this will garner you respect from the photo bloggers who are already your mates.
* Artisan is the new RTW
* Muted colours are in and nothing shiny is cool anymore for winter. 
* If it looks like it has mothballs and needs to go to the dry cleaners to be rejuvenated, you are on the money.
* If you are black and you look rather austere and skinny in your suit, you will get photographed. Have a beard and you don't even need to ask. Snap snap.
* Wearing fur or faux fur will draw attention to yourself if your outfit is rather dull and muted like everybody else.
* A beard is a sign of what?
*  If you are Nick Wooster, please stand next to my stand so I can get a hash tag on you.
* If you are Japanese, have slicked hair and look like it's 1942 - we love you. Snap.
* Some of us are starting a trend to wear capes - afterwards we're going to go running naked into the quad... come join in if you're a follower on my Instagram account. Once we start running, use the video tool....

This rather cynical manner in which I viewed this year's blogger entries comes at a time when I had been most looking forward to seeing the styles at Pitti. It is after all a time when creative souls are supposed to come together, show people what they are working on, admire each other, celebrate the new, revisit the old etc etc.

I don't feel that this year - there is too much reflexivity in Pitti at the moment. Too many men are going merely to keep the white heat of their internet profiles burning - rather than doing what they are good at - keeping design innovative and interesting for the rest of us that sit on our arm chairs waiting to see what's going down in Florence.

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