pucci and thomas tait launch pitti spring/summer 16
Courtesy of Pucci
It's existed for more than 40 years, but somehow Pitti Immagine - the Florentine men's fashion fair turned fashion week - seems to have realised what the rest of the fashion weeks haven't: things get better with a certain amount of processing time. On the first day of major events in Florence, this season's featured designers understood just that. For his inauguration at Pucci, whose Florentine family history can be traced back to the 13th century, new creative director Massimo Giorgetti (of MSGM fame) hosted a casual presentation of models on a platform, allowing guests to take their time and digest the first chapter in this new era of Pucci. "I think of this as the pilot episode of a TV series. I come out with this episode and I'm curious to see what happens," Giorgetti told i-D. It wasn't a pre-collection, nor a main collection, but rather an early and careful and somehow casual dip in the sea for Giorgetti on Pucci's Florentine home turf.
"I love when past, present and future live together. There's the past in the DNA of Pucci - colours and print - and there's the silhouette of now - the skirts, the coats, the laser - but there's also the future, in fabrics, details and a lot of techniques that weren't possible five years ago," Giorgetti explained. His interpretation of the Pucci archives included an expected and necessary amount of print, which gave the collection the kind of vibrancy so intrinsically associated with the house. But there was a graphicness in cuts, colours and accessories that could only have come from an MSGM mind. It was super rich yet very casual, in the men's looks almost Californian, and it was exactly what Giorgetti wanted. "Now the palazzo is closer to the street," he said, referencing Pucci's aristocratic heritage. "But this is not streetwear, it's the concept of the street, because people in the street have freedom. If you're free in your mind, your clothes are easy. The attitude for me is very important because every garment, every dress should be worn effortlessly."
Over the past year and a half, Thomas Tait has been speaking to Pitti, taking his time to come up with a concept and format for a presentation that finally came to fruition this season in a static exhibition format at the majestic Boboli Gardens—no less. "I think it was a lot to do with the system of fashion at the moment and the speed of it. I was like, when am I gonna get the chance, when am I gonna get the time, when am I gonna get the money to redo things that maybe don't necessarily fit in the context of spring/summer 16, which is what we're working on?" Tait explained. "So it was sort of like, wait a minute, this is the opportunity. We're in Italy and I could probably get in touch with a bunch of factories with the help of Pitti." Going through his young archives, Tait - who won the LVMH Prize last year - picked out a small number of items - a biker jacket, a coat, a bag, a boot - and travelled around Italy visiting the master craftsmen, who would reinvent his pieces.
"It was nice because we had an original idea: this is what we did, these are all the problems we had, and this is what we wanna fix and how we wanna change and evolve it," Tait said. "Some of these manufacturers - these people - basically have been a bit heartbroken and lost that initial spirit of pushing. Some of these people have cut their teeth by innovating thirty years ago, and now the industry is a very different place and you could really see the sparkle in the eye with some of them. 'I know what you're trying to do. Let's do it.' That was nice. I wanted to go and work with as many different things as much as possible. There were also just specific things where I was like, if I could redo anything, I'd redo that because I was not happy with it. Or I kind of got to the finishing line of fashion week and went, oh shit, if I had an extra couple of months I could have done this, this and that, and it would have been totally different."
Tait's before-and-after presentation was a rare moment of reflection in a fashion industry that rarely provides time for it - there was even a film playing of Cathy Horyn and Tait in conversation about the project - and cemented the importance of a fashion week where the lack of chaotic schedules and back-to-back shows allows for a kind of depth and understanding that's sometimes hard get away with elsewhere, no matter how hard you try. "It's the luxury of time, a bit of finance, and a redo job. It's something that doesn't really happen anymore, which is kind of amazing," Tait said. Earlier in the evening, Ports 1961 presented the second collection of menswear designer Milan Vukmirovic in a show that, despite being a show, completely lived up to the laid-back spirit of Pitti. Guests were seated at café tables around Piazza Ognissanti on the river, casually sipping spritzi as models walked around the sunlit square carrying skateboards as part of the collection's Cali-Italy beach vibe. Pitti FTW.
Text Anders Christian Madsen