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Très Bien at Pitti Uomo

And now Très Bien has begun to upload pictures of their trip to Pitti Uomo 80. Along with Bruce Pask’s reports, these are always a great way to get a peak at what’s next for upcoming seasons – my favorite so far is this (reversible?) camo sportcoat from Engineered Garments. Update: looks like some pictures have been removed.


FrenchTrotters at Pitti Uomo

The guys from FrenchTrotters recently published a great video of their trip to Pitti – it’s worth a watch if you’ve been following coverage and is probably the best piece of visual media I’ve seen from this season’s show.

NYTimes Coverage of Pitti Uomo 80

Reports from Bruce Pask, in two parts:

The Situation at Pitti

Woolrich Woollen Mills, showing for the first time at Pitti in parent company WP Lavori in Corso’s brand new pavilion, featured shockingly vibrant African tribal printed camp shirts, scarves and neckties paired with khaki trousers and safari-style jackets. The designer Mark McNairy capped one look with an olive canvas and mesh bucket hat cleverly reminiscent of a Pith helmet, but was actually inspired by the signature headgear of J.J. from the TV series “Good Times.” The collection was absolutely “Dy-no-mite,” as J.J. would say.

At Pitti, Innovation and Inspiration

Engineered Garments, another show favorite, did an amazing group of polka-dotted clothing that played with size and scale. Cotton sport jackets, shirts, shorts, pants and ties — in differing sizes of dots, in bold navy and white or a more quiet, chic khaki and white — can be combined for bold, strong looks or worn separately as accent pieces. Make mine a combo, please.

Pitti Uomo News Roundup

* Bruce Pask again has an excellent writeup for the NYTimes on most of the brands I was interested in. Likewise, Khabi on Fashion Buyer UK has also shared his thoughts on what was shown.

* Men’s Mentore had some great coverage with lots of pictures. Oddly the only highlight for me are those floral print squares from Hill-Side.

* Fashionising has published a list of observations they made about some of the lines and on the show in general.

* Get ready for some small price hikes. WWD also had an article on this:

Eric Jennings, vice president and fashion director of men’s for Saks Fifth Avenue, said that after holding off for a couple of seasons due to the recession, men want to replace holes in their wardrobe, whether for suits or sportswear. Among the main challenges for the sector, however, are the price hikes instituted by vendors following steep increases on raw materials and piece goods, many of which have risen by up to 30 percent. “I think the vendors are very cognizant of [the situation] and will partner with us, and we won’t get sticker shock this season, but it’s a huge factor,” he said.

* Nigel Cabourn continues to do his thing. The Brady bags look great, but the Eddie Baeur collection feels off in that none of the pieces look like anything Eddie Baeur has ever made (not in a good way). On mention of which, when is Eddie Baeur going to get its act together and come out with a line based on its archival pieces?

* Très Bien Shop has posted pictures of their trip to their flickr account. Lots of previews of favorite brands are shown.

* In continuing the race to market his name into the ground, Barbour premiered its new Steve McQueen collection. Like the previously branded clothing line which nobody bought, some elements of it are pretty naff. Yes, he’s an icon, but screenprinting his image on the inside of your riding jacket is going a bit too far.

Pictured above, FW11 preview images from ts(s) and below, Engineered Garments.


Weekly Roundup

Some things from last week that you might have missed if you’re not following me on twitter:

– Shorpy has put together a fun gallery of digitally colorized black and white photos. Pictured above, Birth of the American Flag – and the original version.

Legion, Coggles, Blackbird, Mohawk, and Stuart & Wright have started their seasonal sales.

– End Clothing has posted some pictures from their Pitti buying trip. Includes some peeks at next year’s collections from Engineered Garments, Yuketen, Nigel Cabourn, and more.

– From the NYTimes, there’s a good profile on the man behind Best Made Co. and an opinion piece on the wimp effect in men’s fashion.

– Billy Reid needs a new pair of shoes.

Très Bien at Pitti Uomo

The guys at Très Bien have uploaded photos from their recent buying trip to Pitti Uomo – check out the set on flickr and get some sneak peaks at spring/summer collections from Engineered Garments, Nigel Cabourn, Mark McNairy, and more.


Pitti Uomo and Heritage

Florence Reasserts Itself as a Fashion City-State
Guy Trebay has a writeup in the NYTimes on the atmosphere of Pitti Uomo and goes over Raf Simons, Haider Ackermann, and Mark McNairy.

“There is a big obsession all over the world with heritage brands right now,” Valeria Caffagni, the marketing director of WP Lavori in Corso, which licenses Woolrich globally, said at the Milky Pig party.

“Like all obsessions, it will be done in a year,” she added, but that judgment may be premature.

Done in a year? It seems like they’ve been saying that for the past several years.

“The young customers we have now are, like, really hip kids,” Mr. McNairy once told The New York Times, referring to a new generation of J. Press customers, the same ones he presumably plans to attract in his new job as Mr. Suzuki’s successor at Woolrich.

Did J.Press really get new young customers? I would have guessed that they were shopping at J.Crew instead. Continue reading more.

Sporty Takes Over Traditional Menswear
Suzy Menkes also discusses some of the new colorful trends in the menswear that were shown:

Colorful, casual and cash-driven were the three “high Cs” of the menswear summer 2011 season. Or make that “high seas,” for marine influences were abundant, from striped seersucker pants competing with denim to the blazer as the No. 1 jacket.

While Pitti has always had areas of its vast trade fair dedicated to casual clothes and street wear, this invasion of Italy’s heartland of tailoring is symbolic both of the struggles of the last difficult year of faltering sales and the collapse of the U.S. market, and of the new feeling that fresh energy is emerging.

Continue reading more.

Update: Bruce Pask also gives his take on Pitti on the T Magazine blog today.

The rest of the show followed suit with the casual-classic theme. Vivid blue chambrays appeared in everything from casual pants from the revived ’80s brand Closed to casual shirts from Gitman Bros., shorts from Our Legacy, and even an unconstructed three-piece suit from Nigel Cabourn. White buck shoes stood out from their basic brown-and-black brethren as the footwear to have for spring. There were traditional takes from Church’s and New England’s Alden and Walk Over. Mark McNairy, the newly tapped designer for Woolrich Woolen Mills, gave the white bucks in his New Amsterdam line eye-popping soles in bright blue, green, yellow and red.

Suiting from Nigel Cabourn? Sounds interesting. Continue reading more.

Update 2: Why was it that only the NYTimes did any sort of decent coverage of Pitti this season? GQ and Esquire both did a horrible job.

Engineered Garments Spring/Summer 2011 Preview

Pitti Uomo has kicked off today and news about the Spring/Summer 2011 collections are already starting to come in. Khabi Mirza, who runs Fashion Buyer UK, posted a short interview with Daiki Suzuki on what we can expect for next year:

A. I’ve combined military themes with a folky look in places. There are aslo references to the 1980s through cotton dobbie patterns on shirts and ties, alongside floral prints and ethnic patterns. At Engineered Garments we like to combine contrasting patterns and this season we have tonal blue ethnic embroidered jackets over dobbie patterned shirts combined with checked ties. You can put conflicting patterns together as long as there is a sense of balance.

A.Shapes are still slim fitting on jackets although the lengths are just slightly longer than usual. Leg shapes on trousers are not super slim and neither are they too wide. And, on shirts our styling remains narrow and slim-fitting.

Continue reading more.

Pitti Uomo News Roundup

This season’s Pitti Uomo show has just wrapped up in Italy and reports are slowly starting to show up online. Here is a recap of the latest:

Winter in America (in Florence)

The arctic weather in Europe may be the simple answer, or perhaps it’s something deeper, but for some reason everybody at the Pitti Immagine Uomo trade fair in Florence, Italy, which closed today, was dressed like a mountaineer. On the runways and on the Renaissance streets, the default look comprised hiking boots, heavy felted, checked-wool puffed coats and scarves as wide as king-size bedspreads.

Fashion rarely follows function or logic, but the fallout from the crumbling financial markets may also be responsible for this back-to-nature escapism. The Japanese have been forecasting this nature-bound, anti-urban trend for a few seasons and avant-garde Tokyo brands and boutiques have gone crazy for original plaid, snow boots and hunting gear of every kind, in the process re-energizing staid American mountain classics like Timberland, Pendleton, Woolrich, Filson, L.L. Bean and Red Wing. Last season at Pitti, Undercover showed a mix of tech and country styles that may have influenced the general mood.

Corneliani’s show, in particular, seemed to be well received by buyers and press alike.

Eco, Techno — and Classico

A forest of tall trees, each with a different texture to the bark, created a striking background for tactile menswear.

As the models, in thick woolens and body-conscious tailoring, walked through the “woods” — tree trunks that will be recycled into furniture — the Corneliani show expressed the spirit of modern men’s fashion.

From a summary of the luxury lines (Kiton, Brunello Cucinelli, etc) :

Rather than cutting back on quality to keep prices at bay, many brands will hold on to loyal clients by amping up the craftsmanship and detail in their garments. It’s a surefooted measure meant to nstripes and plaids that match at the seams with more than two hours of handcater to those that understand that value doesn’t always carry the lowest price tag. Oxxford Clothes just introduced the new Highest Quality collection. With an opening price point of $4,000, the suit line boasts tailoring touches like cape lined jackets, pi workmanship just on the waist of the trousers.

And here is a set of pictures from Très Bien, who visited most of the designers I was interested in (Engineered Garments, Nigel Cabourn, Post Overalls, Yuketen, the usual). Read on to see more.

pitti_yuketen_1 Read more

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