Pitti Postcard, Part Two

by William Buckley

What should’ve been a slightly foggy head, given the tenacity of the topper-uppers at Brunello Cucinelli’s dinner (see Pitti Postcard, Part One), was clear as the sky when I woke up for day two of Pitti Uomo. A wake up call from Tamara Zverinskaya of PR Consulting (where would I be without you Tamara?), and I was fresh, pressed, and dressed, and on my way along the Florentine streets, under the Tuscan sun, to a week’s worth of events all neatly packaged into a single day.

Now, it isn’t just the Fortezza that is swarming with the best dressed men you are ever likely to see in any one place at one time. The entire city, and given, Florence isn’t huge, but the entire city is alive with elegant menswear. Everywhere you look, everywhere you go, groups of men in vibrant suits all perfectly appointed with scarves, pocket squares, wrist watches and other gentlemanly paraphernalia, engulf the streets like a trendy tempest. As if that wasn’t inspiring enough, day two played out like a reverse Russian doll: every port of call was bigger and more beautiful than the last, a never-ending procession of palazzos each outdoing their predecessor.

Among our multifarious to-do list, the Carlo Brandelli for Kilgour presentation was breath taking. Set in the halls of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi, a single model stood suited and booted within a sculpture of colored glass. Italian men in white shirts and black ties walked the stone floors with trays of that essential Florentine beverage, Aperol Spritz, and we sipped and tripped through the displays of the expertly tailored collection, to the gardens, and out, where lo and behold, a vintage Fiat, branded with our next stop’s logo, awaited. Try as I might to convince the 7 people I was with that we could all fit in the vehicle if we just held our breaths a bit, and got to know each other a little more intimately, most opted to walk. Ever the opportunist, I hopped in the car, and arrived minutes later, at another palace, home to Louis Leeman’s cobbling operation, and replete on this occasion with more of that nobel beverage, and my second favorite Florentine cuisine, gelato. Louis Leeman’s shoes were presented room after palatial room, along with items from new categories, belts and bags.

Barely an hour to take all this in, and we were off again (cotton candy in hand) to the Ports 1961 show, which had commandeered one of the cities most notable piazzas for designer Milan Vukmirovic’s first spring collection for the brand. Vukmirovic, who co-founded Colette, Paris and has served as creative director for Jil Sander and Trussardi, presented his luxury sportswear collection worn by models and other notable menswear folk like Details’ Eugene Tong, and runway veteran Nick Wooster.

Following the show, we walked across the River Arno and through the cobbled streets to the Royal Gardens, where, in another building of the Italian nobility, Pucci presented its SS16 collection. Bright colorful prints in flowing silks were worn by models stood among sculptural light fixtures, and guess what? More Aperol Spritz. If you’ve never tried it, you really must. A relaxed bite to eat nearby, antipasti, pizza and pasta (because just one of those would never have been enough), and homewards, on a gentle walk back to the Hotel Cellai, across the Arno with the Ponte Vecchio glowing in the setting sun.