Pitti Uomo: Day 4: A Parliament of Foules
Four hours of sleep? Sounds about right. No time for a shower. No breakfast. I get a water bottle instead. The hostess asks me if I’m sure I don’t want breakfast or coffee, and then shakes her head at me in disapproval when I insist that water is all I want. There is still plenty of food inside me. Drink, too, probably. I do not feel rested. I have one of those moments when I hope I didn't do anything too offensive last night. I vaguely remember Greg saying I was being a bit loud. Good, good.
Walking to Pitti through the cigarette smoke is unpleasant, and I bump into a couple of walls on the way. Inside, I see a guy from the bar last night wearing the same thing. Major faux pas, right? At least I’m wearing what I wore on the first day – gotta rotate, keep that swag juice fresh. People are staring at me. Hopefully it's because they like my sweater, not because my eyes look like they've come out of a bad horror movie. Which, as I see in the press room, they do. I grab an espresso as a last-ditch effort to regain my humanity, and head out to try for my two last minute interviews. One of them, Transit, doesn't happen, because the designer has disappeared. It’s cool; I’ll just email him and tell Fok that I did it in person.
Back to the press room to tweet and plan. Adam from 21eme is there, and I interrupt him to say hi. I also remember that I sent Faust of SZ an email at 4:30 am to see if he actually is here. He hasn’t deigned to answer.
I realize today while walking past the wall that I am super unstylish, and that 80% of the people here are too. Just look at David, who dresses like a professor with a trouser fetish. A lot of folks are just in jeans and ugly sneakers. A lot of other folks are in jeans and really expensive ugly sneakers.
I hope I don't see anyone else from last night, like the guys I spilled on. I try to talk to A Kind of Guise. They're busy with buyers. Dammit. I haven't been able to get either them or Transit at all this week, and they are two of my top brands. Very frustrating.
Everyone looks exhausted, from the buyers to the bloggers, and especially the designers. Four days of getting picked apart by strangers must be unpleasant. Even the security guards are lounging around, smoking cigarettes. I remind myself to be polite. I am a forum representative! I must promote synergy in Fok's absence!
Everyone is scrambling today. Last minute deals are happening as booths are packing up. People are looking frazzled. Fok warned me this would happen. David warned me this would happen.
The owner of WANT, who was at the bar the night before, is wearing beige CP's. They look okay. Then again he is rich and successful and wildly popular, so perhaps I should adjust my tastes.
I realize that it is raining, just enough to make me keep wondering if I'm spitting on my phone.
Finally, I talk to the designer of a kind of guise. I love their clothes. They stand out to me here, in a good way. The feel so finished, and so honest. So many people tell me their focus is fabrics, but I actually agree with that declaration here.
I shake the hands of more people who I want to keep in touch with, swinging by booths I’ve enjoyed and people I’ve found pleasant. Reppin’ SF hard; keepin’ that name on the boil.
I head back towards Transit and have to take a break on the way because my feet feel like Bagginses. I am ready for no more Pitti. My lack of sleep is catching up to me. I'm running out of patience with the whole scene. Day four; how do you have the energy to wear a bow tie, a double-breasted jacket, harem pants and combat boots? Fuck clothes. I want to be naked. I remember Jun telling me that he doesn't like too much. I agree. Everything here is too much.
I walk to Transit. Simone isn't there. I wonder how much second hand smoke I've inhaled this week.
Time to meet David. I go to the bathroom and see my face again. Not good. I wish I could communicate the extent to which I am flossing “raccoon eyes.” That doesn’t cut it. I look simultaneously bloated and skeletal, like a punching bag filled with liquid. David and I meet up, trade notes. I make fun of him for being an old man and leaving the bar early last night, but he tells me he left at 1:30 AM.
I do remember thinking, at 5:15 this morning, “tomorrow is going to suck.” Well, it doesn’t really suck, it just sort of grates. The bright colors, the loud noises, the cameras; how can people live like this? I am more dead than alive, I think. David has some secret recipe for success, and is looking dapper or gentlemanly or at least not like a fucking zombie. I guess the secret is not drinking until 4 AM.
Is this it? Are we finished?
Time to shop. I spare one glance over my shoulder for the Fortezza, and shake my head. We go to PNP. We try on leather jackets and boots. ‘Three-dimensionality’ comes up a lot. Marco of PNP is happy to see us, and picks out some of his favorite pieces, including a Carpe Diem leather trench coat from A/W 98 that still has the tags on it. He seems like a neat guy. I experience firsthand the side effects of wearing Carol Christian Poell. The pain makes me feel alive.
Ellie Golding is playing at PNP. I am in love with her. We go somewhere so that I can learn about “waterfall shoulders,” and then we head for Liverano.Mr. Liverano greets us at his shop. I am in love with him. I am in love with his clothes and his workshop.
David gets on a train, and I return to my room. My hotel has been invaded by a group of fifteen young Americans. They stare at me as I drag myself up the stairs. Fuck you, you have no idea what I’ve been through.
Dinner with Stephanie is a sedate affair at a cute little trattoria
where a man slices us prosciutto and another man grinds pepper into my lap. It is mysterious. Somehow we have wine, which comes from an adorably large jug. I haven’t eaten for twenty-four hours now, but I’m not hungry. Pasta I can’t pronounce in a sauce of saffron and zucchini flowers is served, and it’s quite good. We share a less-good tiramisu, and then remember that we had planned on finding gelato. Ah, well. My bed beckons. We look at the Ponte Vecchio, are disappointed that it’s not lit up, and call it a night.
I have a free day tomorrow. No Pitti, no cropped trousers, just my dirty t-shirts and a camera that I’m sick of using. I tell myself I’ll get up early in the morning to try to beat the lines at the Galleria degli Uffizi, but I’m up past midnight anyway, sending emails and cataloging photos.
Finally, it is over.