I’m sure I’ll be writing about fashion more in the future because of my three years working in Polimoda for FIT (two of the top fashion schools in the world, though I’m not bragging, they are). There are certainly some stories there, but right now we’re going to talk about Pitti Uomo because I had some sightings this evening in the center. Pitti Uomo is a fashion event held every year in Florence and is one of (if not the most) important men’s fashion event in the world. This means that Florence is currently overflowing with fashion – and sometimes I still don’t know the definition of that word.
Even in the past five or so years, I’ve watched men’s fashion transition with trends – there was the year of the man bun, the year of the beard, the bright pops of primary yellows, reds, and blues on everything from socks to bowties. It seems lately that the quirkier the better, the more someone can stand out from the crowd will be the winner.
I am describing the current trend as hand-me-down clothes that you’ve outgrown. Fully grown men are walking around in brightly colored plaid and striped jackets that look like they were taken out of the 1930s, yet their pant hems hover around their ankles. This lack-of-length is apparently to show off fancy socks, but to me, it just looks like they had a growth spurt and their Mom told them they’d have to wait till next year to get another pair.
Note: In my early years, if my pants did not dramatically drag on the ground, I was not cool. If anyone could see a sock, I was LAME.
Anyway, these fancy creatures that come out of the woodwork also attract big brands which attract Hollywood stars for promotions, which is why Paris Hilton and Patrick Dempsey (what a strange combo) are in town.
Here’s the thing – a ton of fame and fortune visit Florence every year. I’ve shaken hands with billionaires (actually, they live here but, again, that’s another story), I had an interview with the company that was Obama’s personal sommelier. Rami worked the Kardashian wedding. My friend’s dog jumped on Jay-Z and Beyonce (he had no idea it was them).
In a city that revolves so much and so quickly, with so many faces in passing, I’m sure anyone. ANYONE. Could walk right by me and I’d never know they were any different than any other tourist. I’m sure if Paris Hilton asked me for directions unless she was decked out in pink or something, I’d point her in the direction and be on my way. Famous people visit this city every day, and when you work in the industry, they become regular tourists again (most of the time) that can blend into the crowd even just by putting on a straw hat. That’s what they want and normally do – after the event, they’ll slip into jeans and a T-shirt and take off through the city, instead of dawning an extravagant Versace suit and asking for a red carpet. Instead, that’s reserved for everyone else in this fashion fiesta – primmed and prepped in what they think is their best dressed.
I’ll never be the ones out looking for these faces. I mean, if Beyonce can stroll down the street, this must be a pretty awesome city to come to while famous. Just don’t draw attention to yourself and you’re good. Instead, the Pitti men like to stand out – a group of peacocks strutting their stuff through Florence once a year. I just hope their ankles don’t get cold.