THE PITTILOGUES: ONE MAN'S RAMBLINGS THROUGH THE SEEDY UNDERBELLY OF #MENSWEAR AT PITTI UOMO 85 - Page 9
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Great reportage, Synthese.
Never been to Pitti but your descriptions of it remind me so much of SIHH, the industry-only watch fair held in Geneva every January. Sheer madness percolating underneath the oh-so-controlled exterior sheen.
There is no greater privilege than to be a moderately well-informed outsider with a press pass to one of these fairs. Much is at stake - particularly in the watch industry, where seriously gigantic quantities of money and talent-hours are invested in all-or-nothing product launches which can make or break careers, even the brands themselves. I'm sure the #menswear industry is largely the same...
Looking forward to day 3...Would be really great to read some insider industry dirt. Although of course I realise that even the most intrepid journo has to be careful not to burn their bridges for next year. (I realise this because, alas, I did this.)
After collapsing into bed following after pizza, I start dreaming that @Gettoasty and @gdl203 are playing dodgeball, and wake up drooling. I have to pee. I drank almost enough water to drown myself, which is a solid survival strategy, and proves to be worth it in the morning. My neck is killing me, though. I have a messenger bag, and walking around with a camera and a press kit and a pitti guide is actually a little painful. But I soldier on, and eat breakfast in the crowded nook while the hostess coughs up most of her lung.
My feet and head are both hurting, so I stop at the pharmacy for painkillers, drop one on the ground, and eat it anyway. The road to Pitti smells like garlic, and is paved with cigarette butts and the shattered dreams of the unblogged.
I go to the press room, and tweet a photo of someone's ass. I like to let my press pass dangle, so that everyone can see how important I am. David asks me to check over a tumblr post for him, I tell him that he spelled ‘model’ wrong. He says he really does mean ‘modal’, in a statistical kind of way.
Oh, of course.
I head back outside and aim for the showrooms, trying to avoid ending up in the background of people’s photos so that @conceptual 4est can’t identify me. It’s like playing minesweeper.
Nuur and Roberto Collina strike me as hugely uninteresting. Pitti is even more crowded today, somehow, so I move on. I have no idea why the fuck the heat is on so high, or how the people in fur are still alive. I feel jaded already. I've covered almost everything I want to see already, and only a couple of interviews remain. The frame of my sunglasses is cracked, but they still work.
Haversack makes very, very nice clothes. I look at them for a bit and then continue. Esemplare is also nice. It's firmly Streetwear and the fabrics are interesting. Some jackets are much more striking than others, blending various textures ways that are largely successful. There are misses, of course.
One thing I note as I walk around is that I haven't seen anyone wearing the HMMM fiasco.
I see Greg, on his way to check out some knitwear, and he tells me that I look like a professional. I feel like one, dammit. Three days at Pitti and the world is mine.
I check out Orlebar Brown for Regis. Breaking with tradition, they are offering boldly-colored swim trunks with a selection of prints.
I double check my brand list and realize I still need to check out Steve Mono. On the way I spot a booth called Westage & Co., and can’t resist dropping in, which is a good decision. Made in Korea, hunting inspired heritage outerwear that is actually pretty badass. I want the crazy shearling biker bomber and the indigo-dyed overcoat.
Is that Adam from le21eme? And Faust of SZ fame? I miss my chance to ask. Nanamica is still packed. Unity wants me to come back later. Christ, really? I am feeling ready for a nap. I've seen the same booths a million times now. I stick my head into Norwegian Rain and am firmly ignored by three people.
I have another Deep Thought. You can't tell why people are doing things unless you talk to them. These weird, context-less photos of wall swag and neon street style don't really communicate anything about the people who are wearing the clothes. There's a difference between not liking what people wear and disregarding their existence out of hand.
A group of models are throwing coconuts at a canvas backdrop on top of a faux croquet green, while other models tap croquet balls through wickets. Why, I have no idea. The scene is mobbed by bloggers. Circus music is playing. It does not seem to be ironic. I remind myself that I should stop drinking coffee.
I run into Greg while looking at Sea Green, and he tells me to look at a brand called GRP. They make knits that are interesting. Gitman bros has a print of denim butts. I move on. Someone is wearing Pyrex socks. I can't believe that's a real thing.
I make regular trips to the press room to tweet or whatever. I see David there, on his way back from Calabrese. We part ways. The sirens appear again, swaying down the catwalk with a bevy of photographers trailing behind them like dogs, puffing out their chests and ordering them to pose.
I stop and talk to Y-Project for what ends up being longer than anticipated. After talking to them about Mr. Serfaty’s passing and the effect it had on the team, I don’t really feel like taking photos and tell them I’ll return in the morning.
The Fortezza is thinning out as people begin to push for the exits, off in search of parties and I don't know what. It's five. I know there are things I'm missing but it's getting harder and harder to keep everything straight.
There are many people here who are very rude, very pushy, like the Italian guy who interrupted my interview with Steve Mono to ask if he could buy a single card holder and walked off in a huff when the answer was no. It feels wrong; disrespectful to the clothing and to the people who make it. Of course, other brands exist only for that same seasonal pushiness, and those are brands that I largely avoid.
I meet up with David in front of the central pavilion and people-watch. We hang out at the wall and act like jackasses. Putting your foot on the concave concrete actually feels really nice, like a good calf stretch. I note that my lips are very supple, but that fibers from my jacket are sticking to them, and then I see a dude who looks like Lumbergh.
We stop at my hotel on our way to the stores so that David can use my laptop. Hopefully he doesn't look at my search history, because I have no desire to explain ‘waifu' to him. Thankfully, the internet isn’t working, so we head to dinner with the team.
Meat is ordered, Wine is procured, and the Wooster is finally spotted.