Day 2 at Pitti and you’re beginning to get your eye in. Wake, shower, dress. Walk across a freezing city in stunning sunshine. Duck away from the photographers and squeeze through a crowd of preening, chatting humanity. Ignore the cheap ‘classics’, skip past the sportswear, refuse to accept any proffered leaflet, and zoom your attention in on...
Isaia's soft yet sharp tailoring
Isaia. The Neapolitan house of colour with serious sartorial nouse. Hand finishing more than hand construction, but still beautiful buttonholes, buttons and stitching details. The 8 mm stitch is apparently the new thing - big, looping stitches up the lapels that create a subtler raised seam. Nice trademark red pins in the lapel buttonholes too. And then we focus in on...
Fedeli's hand-knitted luxury
Fedeli. Like the swamp of grey cashmere elsewhere, except different, better. The showcase piece is a hand-knitted heavy hooded pullover. Hand knitted as in a woman with knitting needles and a big ball of wool. Seems very homely but incredibly expensive to do at scale. Real fur trimmings, beautiful suede details. This is best of the Italian-style knitwear and they’re opening up a store in London soon. As is, coincidentally...
Bright patterns at Zanone
Slowear. The conglomerate of Incotex trousers, Montedoro jackets, Glanshirt and Zanone knitwear. Each year one brand is picked to be exhibited at Pitti. Last year it was Montedoro, this year Zanone has a turn. Interestingly the colours are very non-Italian. Cherry reds and plum purples. Big double checks and Argyles. Apparently everyone in Italy knows Zanone so they’re not really reaching for that audience here. It’s the Middle East, Russia, China, and they want colour. All will be getting their own Slowear store following the success of the first one outside Italy, in Paris.
The movie made from Jules Verne's sci-fi novel gets a nod from Italian shoemaker Silvano Lattanzi
Time for a change. First, the idiosyncratic detailings of Silvio Lattanzi. This season the shoe brand is keen to play with perceptions, and so they display a range of trompe l’oeil effects including drawings of famous film scenes, laces that seem to be bursting out from inside the shoe and buckles that aren’t really there. Then there are the white crocodile mountain boots. Someone has to experiment with these things, and it’s usually Lattanzi.
Cabourn's book celebrating the anniversary of Captain Scott's Antarctic polar expedition next week
Double-brushed Harris tweed from Nigel Cabourn
Even with a selective eye, we run out of space to record all the brands we like doing things we like. So, briefly to mention that Kiton is showing only its younger CIPA line, which is very un-Italian: cordovan shoes and thick-knit overcoats; long-hair alpaca and camouflage rendered in jacquard. And Barbera, Gallo, Rota (great trousers), the list goes on.
Perhaps a rest, and a more reflective piece next week. Check back to The Rake online.
Photography by: Luke Carby