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Pitti 83: Barena Venezia FW13

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
One of my favorites at Pitti 83 was Barena Venezia: FW13 is a great collection of staples in wonderful fabrics, textures, and great seasonal colors. Like many of my favorites from Pitti, it’s not one that will stop traffic from a mile away, but something you have to try on and grow with over several seasons.

The story: The waters around the small Venetian town of Barena recede during low tide, and the local fisherman sail in special flatboats to collect the fish, shells, and vegetation they sell to make a living. Designer Massimo Pigozzo has used this town, its industry, and its culture as inspiration for the brand, and FW13 ties together nearly two decades of his creative work. I interviewed him in Florence to discuss the collection, which features a mix of soft, wearable men’s jackets and sportswear in interesting colors and fabrics.


The clothes: at first glance, one notices his fascination with materials and with colors; each season, the silhouette and the tailoring remain the same, with small changes in texture, fabric, or detail. This season, the wool jersey and corduroy he’s produced for more than a decade are dyed turquoise blue and rust orange corduroy; a staple boiled wool in mustard yellow sits near a gray wool/cotton fleece that’s new for this season. “Though there are some new fabrics… overall… I’ve been doing this for decades,” Mossimo notes, “not much has changed.” He stands near his favorite items, including a navy wool blazer, and touches the fabric. “You have to love the wool,” he says. “It’s all about the materials" that make a jacket something that grows over time with the wearer. Massimo feels that it is this genuine concern over materials and how they wear and age that has allowed his brand to grow and maintain a steady flow of customers from the USA to Italy to Japan.




My impression: perhaps more than any I covered at Pitti, this is a collection whose DNA is centered directly in the personality, history, and ideas of its designer. It is a collection of basic staples that are well made and relatively accessible (at least when compared with the bigger fashion brands). There are no logos, no unnecessary details, definitely Barena is a personal luxury. Indeed, simply describing the pieces does not do them justice; boiled wool in mustard yellow sounds like a potentially difficult fit until you see it in person and how wonderful a fabric and color it is; it’s not loud, yet it’s not dull. It could be paired with anything you’d pair with a less interesting brown, but it’s not so bright as to look like a costume. Same with the orange and the turquoise.





Massimo knows all of this, making his choices intentionally. Uninterested in trends, relatively unconcerned with sales margins or having an “it” item that will make it into all the magazines, Massimo’s interests are obvious not only in his words, but also in his demeanor. When I interviewed him, he wore one of his trademark knit sweaters, exuding an approachable friendliness and passion for his work that was almost palpable. I picture his clientele similarly: a collection for someone who wants quality, soft materials, continuity without fussiness: a jacket from twenty years ago, though perhaps in a different color, will be quite similar to one made today. Though building his reputation on repeat business, nevertheless Barena is a brand of smaller growth over time, with those who continue to keep and wear their own garments, supplementing them with others in a steady progression.

The standout piece, of course, is exactly the one Massimo intended: the turquoise blue blazer in wool so soft it’s like a warm blanket. Like other pieces, the color is bright, but not loud, the materials soft, but not distressed or worn, and the quality excellent for its relatively accessible pricepoint (in the 400-600 euro range.) Like Cristobal Balenciaga in search of the “perfect shoulder,” Massimo Pigozzo and Barena Venezia, whether boiled or blended, just may have found the perfect wool.
post #2 of 17
There was some debate about the length of his jackets in another thread. The fact is that they are very short. The other fact is that they are usually terribly styled in webstores. If you want to see how they are supposed to look, you really need to go back to the company look books, which shows that short does not have to mean super tight, and that short and Thom Browne. are not synonymous. This from their look book is remarkably relaxed (and the layering is great too):

post #3 of 17
Any pics of individual pieces? Fabrics look good, I've been wanting to pick up a barena jacket.
post #4 of 17
thanks for posting this, i really like the barena pieces i've seen and handled in person. Agree with fok that they're definitely more SWD than CM, in fact rather similar to EG in their construction and focus on fabrics.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fellow Linguist View Post

Any pics of individual pieces? Fabrics look good, I've been wanting to pick up a barena jacket.

I'd love to see some too.

Here are some of the SS13 pieces from TBS:
http://shop.tres-bien.com/brand/barena/
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobbs View Post

I'd love to see some too.

Here are some of the SS13 pieces from TBS:
http://shop.tres-bien.com/brand/barena/

Thanks for this link! Aside from the slightly frightening model wearing the stuff, it does a good job of showing the fit and the relatively accessible pricepoints. BUT, they definitely are the kind of garments most appreciated in person; if I simply saw them on a model I'd be unimpressed. Seeing (and touching) them in person, I quickly became a fan.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fellow Linguist View Post

Any pics of individual pieces? Fabrics look good, I've been wanting to pick up a barena jacket.

I recently picked up a Servolo jacket (wool/polyamide blend, 2 buttons, no vent, lined sleeves) from last season and a Baicolo jacket (lightweight cotton, 2 buttons, unlined, single vent, no buttons at the cuff) from I have no idea when, but almost definitely spring/summer. I'll try to post pics in the relatively near future, provided I have time and it's not 40 degrees and raining. plain.gif

Thanks again to Fok for turning me on to the brand, and thanks to the unpronounceable thread starter for the write-up. thumbs-up.gif
post #8 of 17

I love the colors.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by A Fellow Linguist View Post

Any pics of individual pieces? Fabrics look good, I've been wanting to pick up a barena jacket.

Couple of fit pics.

"Servolo" jacket, which is a wool/polyamide blend and has lined sleeves, no vents in back:



"Baicolo" jacket, which is an unlined jersey cotton material with double vents in back:

post #10 of 17
Looks good; I've rarely seen the collars worn anything but raised though.

Did you take the same size in the Baicolo as the Servolo?
post #11 of 17
Yeah, size 48 in both.
post #12 of 17
Hi,

Any idea on the sizing of these jackets ? The seem to have several styles and the webstores provide either differing measurements or none at all. Im 5" 6' with a 38 inch chest. What size would I take ?

Thanks.
post #13 of 17
Barena fits true to size, perhaps a bit on the small side. If you are in between sizes, you might want to size up, especially if you prefer a more "comfy" look. Otherwise stick to your size.
post #14 of 17
While Barena is positioned as an Italian version of Engineered Garments (with a superior quality), Sandro Zara, the founder, has another semi-artisanal and far more strange brand called "Tabarrificio Veneto": it offers tabards and short coats: http://www.tabarroshop.com
post #15 of 17
Now I know where to get sf-approved capes.
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