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Is Menswear Sustainable? | Pitti Uomo 92

By June 16, 2017 Fashion

If you haven’t heard already, this week I attended my very first Pitti Immagine event, Pitti Uomo 92. Pitti is one of the largest fashion events in Europe, bringing together brands and designers to showcase their work not only to buyers but also to the press. Not only was I there for my own personal blog, I was also writing a short piece for The Florentine magazine, which you can read here.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationLOCATION: Pitti Uomo 92
Fortezza da Basso, Florence, Italy 🇮🇹


Pitti Uomo is the menswear event under the Pitti name (uomo is ‘man’ in Italian) and this year, the theme for the events is ‘Boom Pitti Blooms, focusing on flowers with colour, patterns and textures, with the art direction by Sergio Colantuoni who says, “The theme is also a metaphor for our fairs, of what fertile ground they are for new and often unusual creative expressions.”

I didn’t know exactly what to expect from the event but as I soon realised, one of the major purposes of Pitti is for brands to reach out to new buyers and distributors, so it was interesting coming in from a blogger angle. Of course, on my blog, I focus mainly on womenswear and in particular, ethical and sustainable womenswear, so I planned to go in learning more about how ethics fit into menswear. As already mentioned, I was also there to write for The Florentine and you can read my 5 point sustainable round-up if that takes your fancy.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

It was hard to resist following the crowd and not taking some time to grab some street-style photos. It was 33°C on the day I attended, so I have to applaud the attendees dressed to the nines. In true fashionable style, I overheard one person say, “Even if I faint, it’s worth it.”.

If you’re in need of some sartorial style inspiration then Pitti Uomo is the place to be. It most definitely reinstated my love for tailoring and sleek suits. Those Pitti Peacocks are well dressed, albeit extremely hot and sticky.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationSAVE THE DUCK


I discovered Save The Duck a while before Pitti, knowing of their collaborations between Christopher Raeburn who is one of my favourite designers due to how he repurposes materials and is committed to that way of thinking across his whole brand. Actually talking to their team and understanding how they too, are extremely focused on being as sustainable as they can be, was rather inspiring.

Their latest collection for summer is their Recycled range, which is made of recycled materials from the lining to the zipper, and even uses recycled ‘Plumtech‘, which is their innovative material to replace feathers used in outerwear, making their brand vegan and sustainable. And although they manufacture their pieces in China, I was reassured that factories have to be certified in order to work with Save The Duck. Visiting their booth was most definitely my Pitti highlight, on par with meeting Christopher himself and attending their last collaborative presentation. I’ll be posting a piece dedicated to the collection, shortly.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationPRESIDENT’S


Although Pitti Uomo and the other Pitti fairs are open to worldwide exhibitors, of course being in Italy allowed for there to be plenty of brands Made In Italy. President’s use organic cotton in their shirts and tops and dye their leathers with vegetable tanning, so they’re on the right track.

Their brand, although sticking to traditional Tuscan craft, is modern and fresh and is a brand I will be keeping a close eye on whilst I travel the area. You can read more about President’s here.

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence

Sustainable Menswear at Pitti Uomo 92 in Florence


locationSTUTTERHEIM


And last, but most definitely not least, is Stutterheim, a Swedish raincoat brand who surprised me with their upfront honesty on where they stand on sustainability. John Laster, one of the directors of the company was very open when talking to me, sharing the fact that their materials are most certainly not of a sustainable nature with PVC coming from oil, of course. This doesn’t however, mean they’re entirely going down the wrong path. I and John both agreed that mindset can often be more important than fabrics…

“I think the biggest strain on the environment today is the buying and throwing away of things. It doesn’t matter if it’s made organic or not; use it five times and throw it away, use it for one season and it’s not sustainable.”


As I said, I will have another post up soon about the Christopher Raeburn presentation but for now, that is all from me at Pitti Uomo this season. You may just see me at the knitwear event, Pitti Filati, sometime soon…

What do you think of Italian menswear? Have you heard of any of these brands? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Salvatore Ferragamo Museum: Art & Fashion – Florence, Italy 🇮🇹

By April 9, 2017 Fashion

This post is coming to you in a very similar fashion to my post about the Gucci museum from summer last year. I’m back travelling on the mainland of Italy so on the last day of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum’s art and fashion exhibition, I thought I would share some photos for those of you who missed it or are interested in learning more about Italian fashion and culture. Art and fashion go hand-in-hand so having a dedicated space for it was really interesting to see.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy


locationLOCATION: Museo Salvatore Ferragamo
Palazzo Spini Feroni, Florence, IT  🇮🇹


I believe when the exhibition isn’t taking its place, the museum is purely dedicated to the history of Salvatore Ferragamo itself. For those of you aren’t aware, Ferragamo is one of the leading luxury footwear labels in the world, with the brand now spanning out into a luxury goods empire in itself. After emigrating to the US in 1914, Salvatore found success in California designing made-to-measure shoes for celebrities. Being known for being a shoemaker to the stars and mainly that, didn’t satisfy him entirely, leading him back to Italy and finding himself in Florence, where the museum is today.

Although he still created designs for the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, his work flourished and his local workshop soon grew into a workforce of 700 artisans, producing 350 pairs of shoes a day.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

For someone who is now dedicated to following in the path of sustainability and ethics, looking back to Ferragamo’s earlier work is vital especially when learning more about Italian fashion in particular. Ferragamo often looked back and took from traditional Tuscan craftsmanship which I think is something we’ve lost in an age of fast-fashion and mass-production; really honouring the production and craft of our clothes and shoes.

But Ferragamo also took from more modern and contemporary practices, looking at new art for inspiration. He often took from the Surrealist period (think Salvador Dali, for example).

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Because the exhibition on display wasn’t purely focused on Salvatore Ferragamo’s work, there were many other designers and artistic workings throughout, including pieces from Yohji Yamamoto to Prada and Mila Schön, all demonstrating how art and culture have influenced their work in the past. As an aspiring designer, this is hugely important, especially when researching before starting upon an idea or collection.

I also believe it’s something we’ve lost, especially within the mainstream fashion industry and what the majority of the western world is able to get their hands on. Due to the trickle down effect of haute-couture to the high street, we often lose the meaning of what was originally, and essentially, a work of art. A lot of the art within the exhibition was based on Futurism and contemporary concepts as it’s what heavily influenced Ferragamo as already mentioned.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy - Nick Cave soundsuit

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy - Nick Cave soundsuit

One of my personal favourite displays was the set of ‘Soundsuits’ by Nick Cave. Nick Cave is not only a sculptor, he is also a dancer and performance artist and his Soundsuits are some of his most well-known works. The suits are wearable pieces of art, heavily detailed and technically, sculpted, using many different fabrics and textures from feathers and sequins to even human hair. The finished pieces take from different inspirations and cultures including the Dogon of Mali in Western Africa and often symbolise different concepts at one time.

The immense detail is what makes it art and the wearability makes it part of fashion; wearing art to express a message or a story. They’re extremely detailed and intricate up close and if you’ve read my fashion week reviews in the past, you’ll recognise that a common theme of my reviews is my love for pieces which are more heavily decorated and worked upon – pieces of art.

Salvatore Ferragamo Museum in Florence, Italy

Art isn’t just paintings and sculptures though; it’s also music and film and popular culture. It’s about the spirit of a certain time and era, again, something I believe we’re missing nowadays with how much is produced and put in front of us. Can we really put a pin in what the current time is about when it comes to fashion?

Overall the exhibition was really interesting and definitely reinforced how important art is to fashion and how I hope we start to treasure it more and rediscover what fashion as we know it, used to be about.


How does art play a role in fashion, for you? What are some of your favourite pieces of art? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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The Gucci Museum – Florence, Italy 🇮🇹

By July 6, 2016 Fashion

Not only is Florence home to some of the greatest artworks in the world, it’s also home to one of the greatest designers in the world; Gucci. When I was in Florence, for €7 I was able to have a tour around the Gucci museum which is an archive from the beginning, right up to recent collections. It explores the story of Guccio Gucci and is honestly a breathtaking display. You can get rather up close and personal with the designs too, so I thought I’d give you a little glimpse…

gucci museum florence italy

gucci museum florence italy

gucci museum florence italy


locationLOCATION: Piazza della Signoria, Florence, IT  🇮🇹


I know that these days Gucci may not be the most ethical brand in the world (reading Stitched Up is really opening my eyes up to how it’s not just the high street causing the problems), but the heritage of the brand is really interesting to me, especially since I’ve been spending time in Italy. The booklet that I was given upon my entry to the museum describes the story…

“Situated in the heart of Florence, the museum is an homage to the city where Gucci’s story began. It was here in 1921 that Guccio Gucci founded the company which bore his name and which would go on to become a global powerhouse whose indisputable appeal transcends all ages and cultural backgrounds. At the turn of the 20th century, Guccio Gucci worked as a liftboy at London’s Savoy Hotel. It was here, whilst appraising the elegant manners of the hotel’s high society guests, that the young Gucci hit upon the idea of founding a leather goods enterprise that married an upper class British sensibility with impeccable Italian craftsmanship.”


gucci museum florence italy

gucci museum florence italy gucci museum florence italyFor me, one of the most interesting parts of the museum was seeing the progression from the very earlier designs and products to the newer collections and ranges, whether they be lifestyle or fashion. It’s actually a really great example of change (which I spoke about recently here – nice bit of self promotion, Tolly) and how brands develop over time… years in fact. There’s a wonderful archive of pieces from the earliest years, right up until now. You can even go down into the store afterwards, and experience even more of what Gucci has become.

There’s detailed insights into different, iconic Gucci elements, like the Flora print and the Double G logo. The Flora print was commissioned by Rodolfo Gucci (one of Guccio’s son), with Vittorio Accornero completing the commission, which became an eye-catching and unique design to be worn by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1966. More than forty-five years later, and the print is still being reworked and updated to keep up with the seasonal trends.

gucci museum florence italy

gucci museo 20

gucci museum florence italy gucci museum florence italy

For an aspiring designer who’s never lived in the world of wearing designer clothes, it did feel quite surreal to all of a sudden be up close and personal with it. It’s like being transported into a different world, one which has been changing and evolving over the years to become an iconic symbol of power and class, as well as creativity and innovation of classic Italian design. Although as I stated at the beginning, there’s a lot to be done to even make sure brands like Gucci are doing their best, it really is quite interesting to delve into where it all began, and learn more about how something genuinely can come from just a single spark of an idea.

If you’re in Florence, I definitely recommend you taking a look at the museum, or maybe even having a coffee in the cafe, and a browse at the book store which is full of some of my all time favourite fashion reads. I promise this is in no-way sponsored, it’s just a really great gem that some people might miss in the craziness of the Uffizi Gallery, just next door!


Have you been to the Gucci museum? What do you know about Gucci? Let me know in the comments below!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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