Plan your outfits, get out your Italian dictionary (ciao, bella!) and pack your bags (all ten of them) because the first Pitti Uomo of 2019 has kicked off, and the peacocks are descending on Florence with enough linen to drape every inch of the city.
The twice-yearly affair in northern Italy is considered the must-attend menswear event in the world and has become synonymous with the parading ‘peacocks’ of the industry, those bold and vivacious gents who pull out all the stops and dress to the nines, congregating around the fountain and snapping Insta-ready photos of each other until their phones all melt down.
At InStitchu, to be honest, we‘re in two minds on the event.
On the one hand it does feel a little cringey. Some of these guys seem to be trying quite hard to get photos of themselves looking like they don’t know there’s a camera there, and there’s an element of shock-dressing that doesn’t sit well with an Australian brand (particularly one inspired by old-school tailoring traditions).
But, maybe we’re being harsh. On the flip side, the event does attract some of the most stylish people in the world, as well as some of the most influential representatives of luxury menswear brands, meaning it’s at the pinnacle of the industry in terms of emerging trends and developments. And while some of the peacocks are overthinking the whole thing, there’s something valuable in the way they’re opting to be bold and mixing colour, pattern and cut; considering the InStitchu brand is built on unique custom garments, there’s definitely something to be learned and drawn from these avante-garde leaders of menswear, even if you’re only inspired by a single element of their outfit. (Note: some of the very bold outfits can be superb thought starters if you’re wanting something outrageous for the Spring racing season, one of the few occasions where you can go all out and not worry about overdoing it).
To cover all the fun and games our man on the ground Igee Okafor, the incredibly stylish New York based writer, creative consultant and InStitchu friend, is there to see the magic of Pitti unfold in person. And, he’s not afraid to check our negative attitude either, apparently. Follow him on Instagram (@igeeokafor) to be a live audience to the sartorial shenanigans (and read our brief Q&A with him below).
What have you packed for Pitti?
"This is my first time at Pitti Uomo and with what I've heard particularly from some of my friends who have attended in the past is that it can get very hot. Wearing suiting is probably not ideal for most with the weather but being that it's my first time, I want to pay homage to the signature style I associate with the event. I have some suits I designed in linen fabrics, and light toned colors with InStitchu. We did both single and double breasted numbers with cuffed trouser and to support the styling of the suiting, I have some collared shirts in various prints, pattern and colors to pair them with. Casually, of course. Shirt open, and all. Not sure I'll be doing much with ties but I brought them to be safe."
You’re surrounded by some of the most stylish guys in the world right now. What are they wearing?
"A lot of what I am seeing already are browns, whites, and tanner colors. Suiting always looks wonderful in these colors. Each man has such a specific way of styling their suits in a way that is so unique to them. There are lots of hats, lots of scarves, and lots of unique design details in classic pieces. Whether it's a cuffed or pleated trouser with double buttons or a linen jacket with a two button double breasted design, these men own it. The cuts and the accessorizing are unlike anything I've ever seen. Simplistic and functional for the most part."
At an event like Pitti there’s a lot of peacocks and pretenders. How do you find the real deal in Florence?
"It's so funny because I think most of the world thinks Pitti is all about the peacocks and I must admit, while it's quite exciting to observe, there are more people who attend with no intention to be grouped in the category. Most of these men seemingly just want to be themselves and I think all forms of suiting interpretation and style should be unbiasedly valued. If you want to wear an orange suit, I think you should go for it if it's staying true to how you like to see yourself through personal style. If the colors are only for attention to get photographed, that's where it becomes inauthentic and things start to look a bit unnatural. The best way to find the real deal is subjective to what one finds visually and conceptually appealing. If you can look at an outfit, and you believe it'll be relevant enough to transcend time or highlight a specific memory or era of something tangible, it's the real deal. It's all in the details."
Still feeling social? Check out these dapper dudes and see what they got up to at Pitti Uomo.
Feeling inspired? Book an appointment at an InStitchu Showroom today or get designing online.