By Frances Morris – Blogger, The Blonde Citizen
Lifestyle and fashion make for obvious bedfellows, more elegantly worded by the late Gianni Versace, one of my favourite Italian designers, who said “Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live”.
Walking in Florence, since choosing to relocate here in February, I couldn’t have a better introduction to Italian culture and the sartorial trends which have influenced men’s fashion throughout the world; than the twice-yearly, Pitti Uomo trade event which presents “…clothing and accessory collections and launching new project’s in men’s fashion”.
The exhibition, under the auspices of its corporate parent, Pitti Immagine, has provided a “Global showcase and a unifier for the national industry” since 1972, including many of today’s international fashion industry scions: Armani, Ricci,Valentino and Versace who have set the bar high for forthcoming designers.
In 2016, hosting as many exhibitors and rigorously selected designers as there are statues in our museums, the Fortezza da Basso presents Hiroki Nakamura working his street apparel and cult footwear, Fausto Puglisi staging his luxurious designs using traditional fabrics, Raf Simons showing his contemporary S/S 2017 collection to Gosha Rubchinskiy – this year’s guest menswear designer – showcasing his social commentary collection through media visuals, and Lucio Vanotti, the 2012 “Who is on Next?” finalist known for his elegant unisex style.
Concurrently, at the Palazzo Pitti, Visions of Fashion, a photographic exhibition by the iconic KARL LAGERFELD, opens to the public from 15th June inaugurating a three-year programme dedicated to the culture of contemporary fashion. This historic location more famously known as the former residence of the Medici family, whose wealth and influence originally derived from the textile trade, offers a fitting location indeed to “promote the fashion industry as the aesthetic expression and global evolution of taste”.