Pitti Uomo 84 seen by...

Nick Wooster

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CLASSIC
The great thing about all things classic, is that they never really go out of style. This is the reason to come to Pitti Uomo--all of the world's most beautifully crafted menswear products are fantastically displayed in one of the world's most historic setting. Here are some of my favorites: 

A brown leather brogue from Trickers. If I only got to own one shoe, this would be the one

Some of the most beautiful fabric in Italy, based on the most traditional menswear patterns are from Vitale Barberis Canonico.

The tailoring and total lifestyle message can't be beat at Cucinelli. Here is one of the more interesting tailored looks shown with a Japanese denim shirt.

I think Camoshita has the best taste in Tokyo. Here is an example of a knit jacket and trousers. Directional and traditional at the same time.

One of the things that I think the Japanese do better than anyone, is take something classic, like grey tropical fabric, and turn it inside out by giving the fabric performance properties and twisting the fit. This Nanamica jacket is the future.

NAUTICAL
All shades of blue, plus red and white, continue to look correct and fresh. I really love some of these ideas: 

Some of the best accessories out there, are from Want les Essentiels de la Vie. Twin brothers Byron and Dexter Pert had the most impressive "house" built especially for them outside of Touch, and EVERYTHING they make is desirable. I particularly loved the way all of these red white and blue accessories looked. A perfect display.

The John Woolrich and Sons collection at WP Lavori looked especially fresh this spring.

Baracuta, also at WP Lavori collaborated with Kenichi "Kenny" Kusano, formerly of Beams Plus in Japan, on a capsule of the classic Baracuta jacket. Here is my favorite in navy.

PRINTS
Prints are huge in the world of women's, and they have made their way into every facet of menswear. I think camouflage (always), animal prints, foulards are the easiest and the coolest, but here some of my favorites:
 

I love the fluorescent color on the exquisitely made underwear and (new) sportswear from The White Briefs.

Gitman Vintage, the more forward thinking branch of Gitman Brothers have really taken the print idea to the next level. Here are some of the craziest, but ultimately coolest shirts this season.

Swimwear is a huge trend, and Orelbar Brown make, arguably, the most perfect swimwear and now a full range of sportswear. I particularly love their prints. Here is one of my favorites.

I found the brand Museum at L'Altro Uomo. This is my favorite camouflage jacket at Pitti.

ACCESSORIES
There was a reason why Super Duper and Casamadre were the top two finalists at Who's On Next?--accessories are the most innovative and dynamic components in menswear today.  

Backpacks are replacing the messenger bag as the carrier of choice. This bag from Want les Essentiels de la Vie is the solution for a slightly dressed up, slightly casual alternative to a tote.

Matteo Gioli, Ilaria Cornacchini and Veronica Cornacchini, the trio behind Super Duper won the Who's on Next? grand prize at this year's Pitti Uomo. It's easy to see why when Matteo is the quintessential ambassador for the brand, and for why hats are so on point.

I am a huge fan of sneakers in the spring and summer. These slip ons from Diemme are some of my favorites.

Nick Wooster
For over 25 years he has collaborated with leading American luxury giants such as Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Among the numerous collaborations stand out Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren and John Bartlett.
He currently directs JCPenny and notes the new trends taking inspiration from the world around him everywhere, whether on the street or on the web.
http://nickwooster.com/ 

Julien Neuville

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More than ever, the weather was in every discussion at this season’s Pitti. The temperature rose up to 38° degrees Celsius (that’s more than 100° F) but some Italians still managed to wear double breasted suits, buttoned-up shirts and ties the entire week. This heat wave, even if it made working difficult for everyone, was, at least, in harmony with the clothes we saw.

Everyone in the north hemisphere (except you, California) has pretty much had a very long winter and an almost inexistent spring. In Paris, it rained so much for the past five months that we had forgotten what the sun looked like. So, it’s safe to say designers must have been thinking about summer really hard when designing their collections, as if, maybe, putting out there joyful garments will make Mother Nature happy and convince her to allow us a few warm minutes of sun.

It could also have went the other way. Designers could have been so depressed by the awful weather and end up delivering tame, dark and soulless collections.

Fortunately for us, they are still a very happy bunch of dudes.
 

And what better destinations, when thinking of sun, than Hawaii ? Last season, some of the local prints started to emerge, at AMI for example, but this season, it was everywhere. But, don’t be mistaken, it was far from the typical flower-y prints that all the middle-aged Hollywood movie stars wear to make everyone think they’re cool.
Brands worked hard on designing powerful prints, with lots of colors but still very low-key and discreet. Except maybe for you Gitman, you went nuts on your short-sleeved shirts ! And because menswear people don’t like to do things halfway, the Hawaiian prints were on every types of clothes and accessories : on hat and ties at Penfield, on double-breasted blazers at Instantology, on unstructured sports jackets at RDH and on down jackets.

kolor, the men’s guest of honor, who set up a beautiful fashion show on thursday night, had lots of Hawaiian prints. Junichi Abe, designer and founder of the fashion label, described his collection at the preview earlier in the day, as ‘a symbol of happiness and joy’.

Graphic and geometry prints were still going strong in Pitti, but this year’s second biggest trends are probably the ‘new’ type of stripes. Difficult to really define, some people were calling them the dishcloth-stripes, the beach-house stripes, other went with mattress-like stripes. Anyway, those large vertical prints, most often white and blue, go great with solid fabrics, giving them a very virile look. We’re looking at you, seersucker. Even though, this isn’t the most formal stripes and should be worn casually, the contrast between light colors gives a noticeable impression of cleanness, a very polished allure. Hardy Amies made smart one-button jacket of it, so did Cantalini and A Kind of Guise as well as Officine Générale made shirts. If you have to invest in a sports jacket for this summer, that would be my recommendation.

While we’re on colors, one made a grand entrance during the fair : green. It was everywhere. And, when you really pay attention while in Florence, you easily notice the city is very ‘green’, just take a look from the very top of the Palazzo Pitti’s garden.

kolor, again, did see that and had an all-green catwalk’s set design as well as neon-green pieces. Hardy Amies used dark green for its double monk straps (in collaboration with Grenson) and its outerwear.

Regarding fabrics, again, designers were thinking about the hot days when doing research. Lots of interesting technics were showed. Hardy Amies -again- made polo out of towel fabrics, even though Orlebar Brown has been doing this kind of products for a few seasons now. Perforated materials were also used, looking like quilted garments. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be easier to breathe than with the usual dress-shirt fabrics.

As for overall looks, the ‘boating’ look was ubiquitous. Whether it was anchor or fish on sweaters and pants, dark navy double breasted jackets with white trimming or belts made of ropes, the ‘marine captain’ aesthetic seems to have inspired lots of creative dreaming of salt and sea.

Hawaiian and beach-house prints surely is a very enthusiast mix of references. One that gives hope in a rather bitter economic atmosphere. Maybe, after all, it’s time to have fun, to enjoy, and to hope for better days. They will eventually come.

PS : Seeing all the cool italians guys wearing it this season, I’m thinking the all chain-from-the-jean-pocket-to-the-front-button is going to be a thing again. Sons of Anarchy kind of stuff.
 

Julien Neuville
Born and raised with Internet, Julien Neuville has always been a bi-media journalist, working for online publications as well as traditional newspaper and magazines. In 2011, he joined the BusinessofFashion.com, now holding the title of Associate Contributor, covering Paris’ fashion. Recently, after a few months spent at the French newspaper Le Figaro, he started contributing to the week-end magazine, M, le Monde, writing about fashion, lifestyle and culture.

ON TRENDS

I don’t believe trends are created by designers and brands before being forced onto the streets, neither are they fully dictated by the consumers. They’re born through the relationships between those two groups of people, they’re influenced by everything surrounding us now -architecture, movies, music, art, lifestyle, nature- as well as elements from the past that we wish to revisit.
Exploring the always fascinating Pitti trade show for three days, I’ll be looking for the major trends of the Spring Summer 2014 season and I’ll try to analyze them thoroughly.
What are their stories? Where did they come from? Are they really new? Why are they coming out now? How are they going to impact the high-end market as well as the mass-market chains? Those are the kind of questions I’ll be asking myself, and hopefully, I’ll come up with some answers.