Wonderland.

PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO AW16

We head to Pitti Immagine to grab a slice of all the menswear action.

Although it’s been around since 1972, it’s in the last decade that the Pitti Immagine Uomo trade show in Florence has become something of a Mecca for classically inclined menswear-heads the world over. As famous for the well-tailored dandies begging to be street styled in their noisy pocket squares outside as it is for the artisanal cashmere delights displayed within, Pitti is always a well needed change of pace during the hectic fashion calendar. If you’ve got even the slightest inclination towards beautiful tailoring, then you can’t help but smile at the sea of double breasted, double pleated, and double monkstrapped men crowding around in all their peacocking, chain smoking, madness. And if you don’t, then, well, there’s always the shows and presentations themselves: all 1219 of them.

Although Italian names like Brunello Cucinelli and Japanese heritage kingpins including Camoshita by United Arrows firmly hold down the classic side of things at Pitti, it’s important to remember that it’s not all soft shouldered blazers and tassel loafers. After all, every year Pitti invites a few innovative and genuinely progressive labels to fill its Designer Project guest spots, and this time around the show opened its doors to hyped Korean menswear imprint Junn.J as well as the latest collection from adidas Originals by White Mountaineering.

With his futuristic, techno infused aesthetic winning plenty of column inches – and y’know, actual purchases – in recent years, Junn.J developed things this season with a sci-fi flavoured collection full of exaggerated motocross pieces, directional wool outerwear, and chunky lug soled boots and shoes that, when paired with structured panels on jackets, felt like the militaristic armour that can feel necessary in our turbulent today. Beneath, or rather on top, of that hard, brutal edge though, were messages of, perhaps, a kind of hope: “FORM” and “GENDERLESS” came printed and embossed boldface across all manner of garments, hinting, not so subtly but nonetheless powerfully, at the essential philosophies behind Junn’s forward thinking aesthetic.

An eye-melting light show of epic proportions, meanwhile, played backdrop to the newest iteration of adidas’ collaboration with Japanese outdoor extraordinaires White Mountaineering. Blending the expected sportswear technologies with White Mountaineering’s uniquely considered approach to heritage pieces, AW16 was heavy on multi-pocket parkas, chunky knits and compression leggings paired with the prerequisite array of technical sneakers. Taking the notion of Ath-Leisure to its logical conclusion, this season was an all-weather, all-occasions, utilitarian odyssey. If proof was ever needed that Pitti Immagine stares as boldly and fearlessly into the future as it looks fondly to the past, AW16 was it.

PITTI IMMAGINE UOMO AW16

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