Thursday, 17 June 2010

All Eyes On Firenze - Pitti Uomo #78

With Pitti Uomo's 78th edition opening its gates from the 15th to the 18th at Fortezza da Basso the fashion crowd, will one more flaunt the streets of the Renaissance metropole at the Arno river for the next days. The theme, which will be framing this years' edition of the world's most important men's wear fair is "Design Watching". With 972 brands showcasing 1047 collections - out of which 75 collections and are part of the Pitti W Woman pre-collection another record has been established.

As usual, apart from the exhibition itself, there is always a vast array of goodies and events not to miss in and around Florence. On of this years highlights must surely have been Haider Ackermanns Carte Blanche event "Opium" as part of Pitti W Woman, which took place yesterday, 16th of June at the Palazzo Corsini and combined a sneak peak of his pre-collection of women's wear with pieces of his eagerly anticipated men's wear debut. The designer who usually showcases his collections in Paris was offered an entirely different stage for his defile and a great opportunity to add a bit of excitement, fresh inspiration and a drama to his premiere in men's wear.

The atmosphere had been created all-embracingly in the oppulent palazzo. The abundant feasting tables overflowing with fruit arrangements and decanters full of wine as if they stood there ready to witness a bacchanal. Some dignified glory and the charms of a by-gone era, which emanated from the wall frescoes. Ackermann's defile took place open-air, in the atrium of the late-baroque Palazzo Corsini, where, under sumptuous chandeliers, the fashion crowd was taken away by his vision and the flair he had created around his collection. Jamie Bochert playing piano and singing was just the icing on the cake to this overall setting.

“Between force and fragility, between masculinity and femininity, the Ackermann women, with a distant gesture speaks about beauty, about melancholy, about wandering, about escaping a certain nostalgia…about love… for men whose gesture are as « lointain », élégant, masculine, illusive, decadent, reserved, debauched…his heart on the run… Carte blanche, named « opium ».”

Haider Ackermann sent his men and woman on a journey, where with flowy fabrics in plum, black, nude and grey shades, the draping and layers from his previous collections were picked up, yet, transformed by obi-inspired knots (woman's collection) and eclectic voyage wardrobe, with nomad-style layered shirts, male kimono-influenced waistcoats and brocade jackets, loosely fit embroidered pants in the men's wear collection, accessorized with Indian inspired slippers with peacock feathers and shawls that had a rather Middle Eastern air.

A wonderfully inspiring and cohesive collection and a bold and brave move into the male pret-a-porter, presented in an atmospheric picturesque setting. However, as much as I like the fact that he made a statement in his first men's collection, I very much prefered the simpler designs, which were quite wearable and a lot less costume-y than the brocade jackets. It surely will be worth keeping ones' eyes open on how Haider Ackermann will proceed with his male collection.


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