Urbanize me - humanize me

the new theme of the Spazio Ricerca

Fortezza da Basso

Designer Angelo Figus and knit expert Nicola Miller are the minds behind the concept, project, and production of Pitti Filati’s Spazio Ricerca, the fair’s laboratory for avant-garde experimentation and trends research, a 360° inspiration for fashion’s creative talents. This year there is a new slant to its formula. As always, at the Cavaniglia Pavilion at the entrance to the fair, Spazio Ricerca is tearing down the borders with Fashion At Work, the area devoted to companies providing top services and advanced technologies for the textile/clothing industry, and is revolutionizing the layout and structure to create a single section where research, products, and technologies converse intimately. 
Urbanize-me Humanize-me is the title and theme of this edition’s Spazio Ricerca – curated by Angelo Figus and Nicola Miller – presenting top trends for spring/summer 2010. The star player is the contemporary city, the child of post-industrial urbanization, a point of attraction and a concentrate of different ethnic groups, cultures, and customs with people as the fulcrum. Architects and urban planners have redesigned its structure, creating new points of references; urban furniture transforms the city into a living room, guerilla gardens change nondescript areas into vest-pocket parks, parkour is the rising new sport, designers take work uniforms as points of departure for style; spas and beauty centers for lunch-break wellness are everywhere, riverbanks become beaches and parks turn into mountain vistas. The new city never stops moving: it’s a world in miniature that offers infinite options to all its people, at any time of the year.     
The 5 sections – Urban Camouflage, City SPA, Cityscape, Metropoli, and Man At Work, develop the theme with suggestions, swatches, knit stitches, treatments, embroideries, appliqués, and finished garments from historic archives, real period pieces or items created ad hoc to highlight the possible points of creative interaction between knits and the different product groups that make up a fashion collection. 
Urban Camouflage – a casual-sports section dedicated to urban mimesis, where walls, billboards, telephone booths, and mailboxes inspire colors, motifs, and structures – presents a blowup of knit/denim interplay, zooming in on how knit stitches and structures use dynamic, graphics-inspired profiles to experiment with new ideas for denim and interface with washing treatments, embroidery, and prints. The industry’s leading Italian companies - Indigoscape, Care Label, Martelli Lavorazioni Tessili, Denim Area, Amhot Bluetrack, Redmark, Italpiega, and Cobrax - are all actively involved in the research project and are showing at their stands in the section, together with Ricamificio Graziano.
City SPA, is continuing the research that was launched at the last two editions with the production of ECO- and ETHICALLY- sustainable products in absolutely organic and natural noble fibers. Inspired by the urban health temples that offer lunch break wellness and spa treatments, and thanks to the collaboration of Ornella Bignami, City SPA focuses on the latest novelties in bio/ethical yarns and yarns with cosmetic and curative properties. Hypoallergenic yarns, yarns that warm or cool the wearer, that cure, that heal wounds, mosquito-repellent yarns, yarns enriched with aromas and specific products for wellness or with therapeutic properties are enhanced by special processes that exalt the natural structures thanks to the work of internationally famous companies such as  CRYSTALLIZED – Swarovski Elements. 
Cityscape – revolving around the artificial landscapes that reconstruct seaside and mountain vacation spots right in the heart of the city, devoted to interactions between the natural and the artificial – and Metropoli – the nature-pop section inspired by the famous board game – present selections of knit stitches, vintage clothing from private collections and fashion houses, and research into newly-made items. 
Man at Work takes its inspiration from the “uniforms” of urban workers – from trash collectors to businessman – to stage experimental productions centering on the finished garment that mix references from dress wear and workwear. 
The setting, curated by Alessandro Moradei, uses modular elements to narrate these five different stories: the same pieces, assembled in different ways for each of the five themes, are the unifying elements that create a single exhibition plan in which color and surfaces reign supreme.
At this edition, we’ll also be seeing novelties in the Spazio Ricerca color card, produced in cooperation with X-Rite, Pantone, and Munsell Color.
Florence, 28 January 2009