There is a lot of talk about Pitti Uomo in Florence again. The buyers are back, the atmosphere is great, and the weather played its part as well. Sunny days in Florence always make for a good start to the new year and the fashion season. Even better when the most talked about designer in fashion is the official Pitti guest designer. Martine Rose brought her fashion magic from London and went for a serious England meets Italy mash up. Together with Bianca Saunders and Grace Wales Bonner the British-Jamaican menswear designer is at the forefront of the auteur movement in fashion which draws its inspiration from highly personal experiences and their black heritage.
In Rose’s case, it’s a lot about rave, hip hop, house and new wave music subcultures which she channels into the most modern take on tailored sportswear out there. For her first show outside England, she went for thick corduroys and washed nylon and cotton fabrics in a sharp and cropped silhouette which whiffed of new wave with its boxy shapes. Her clever amalgamam of sport, music and tailoring mixes make for a whole new look with its aged patina on denims and leather on the streets of the fashion world.
What’s in the mix?
Rose loves Italo disco and scored her soundtrack with a best of. The energy was transported by her casting of local football players, street cast Florentine shop owners and her crew of friends from London and Berlin. The finale was held to the driving beat of Neapolitan drummer Tullio de Piscopo’s track Stop Bajon which only the initiated few who spent long nights on Camden dancefloors know.
The entire line up had a purposefully weathered look, football jerseys serve as underpinning for tailoring, pants have a bumster sexiness and the back of jackets fall in bulbous shapes. Our favourite look brought to life the Anglo-Italian mash up she had in mind. A tight thick knit sweater with sartorial fabric arm inserts and thick cord pants.
It’s almost as if Rose was interrogating the past to concoct her rave culture gear. Only she adds a heavy dollop of parody and cheekiness. She is clearly blessed with a good eye at spotting trends and must be credited here to have helped Demna at Balenciaga to reach his design heights as she was ghost designing the men’s wear and many signatures like deft volume play and hyper cool denim were ubiquitous on her catwalk as well.
Most men’s jackets came with an exaggerated spliced lapel and the back panel of fabric tightly tucked into the pants making for a louche silhouette in the front and taut in the back.
Interesting detail – ACHTUNG sat next to a talent spotter from the Qatari Mayhoola investment fund who owns Valentino and Balmain.