Pitti Uomo 96

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Coolness with a conscience 

Men's Fashion for 2020 applies colour, design and performance with a purpose. Janet Prescott reports on Pitti Uomo 96

FLORENCE - The action man and the dandy are equally well served for the new season. But so is the man who likes a mix of influences old and new to make an individual combination.

Advances made in the treatment and development of natural fibres and synthetic fabrics are bringing the two together in a way which serves many needs: the current obsession for personal fitness, a certain amount of conscience about the environment, and freedom from conventional ideas of what to wear.


Overall the trend is for lightweight garments with distinctive styling – trousers just above ankles, figure-skimming single-breasted jackets and highly designed shirts. Bold floral motifs and geometrics as well as all over prints lend extra 3D effects and a sense of newness. Most jackets are deconstructed, semi lined or unlined, making wool content a must for reliable tailoring.

Colours ran from pale pastel checked jackets to suits in green, lightor blue, with stony, sandy shades, browns and pale grey – the classic beach palette. These contrast with bright uni-coloured fancy stitch knitwear and arty jacquard patterns, often with red or orange accents.   

Checks in unusual colour combinations dominated for both shirts and jackets making for a collection of colour, pattern and texture: beetroot, orange and white, and blue/black. Pictured right: Gabriele Pasini. 

Accessories for summer include fine wool scarves as in Escorial wool in diaphanous soft colours from Joshua Ellis, shoes to match bright tones of jackets, hats, and belts, and bags with check wool fabric. 

Seriously Active

The most newsworthy uses of wool are in the major active wear brands, which included or relied on Merino wool in their high performing garments. These well-designed and top-notch designs look good as well as working in serious conditions, such as Everest by Rewoolustion, Sease, Zegna and the high profile launch of a project with The Woolmark Company who are partnering with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team in the challenge for the America’s Cup with various interacting layers of high performance garments (pictured left).


Knitwear 2020 is all about visual effects and fancy stitch detailing, harnessing the abilities of the ever-more sophisticated machinery available. Traditional patterns and styles benefit from contemporary technology. New materials such as graphene are incorporated, as seen at MOTO, to enhance thermal performance.

Luxury knitwear finds summer success in directional colours and designs at Inis Meain. This ultra-cool wool brand testifies of the inventiveness of a traditional product with intrinsic value worldwide, where US buyers queue to try on the styles which are made on a tiny island off the Irish coast.

John Smedley in Derbyshire celebrates 235 years of production in England.  This Merino specialist offers high-end knitwear which continues to exploit newest technology and leading techniques in directional design.

Falke's fine knitwear presents with growing diversity, from socks to as range of luxury knits and outerwear.

Shetland wool in the well-loved traditional jumpers from Shetland sees demand almost reaching capacity at Jamiesons.

Travelling Light 

Last but not least the travel suit continues to make waves, with several impressive washable versions from a variety of labels.

Lanificio Cerutti 1881 asked Cad & the Dandy of London’s Savile Row to design suits in their iTRAVEL range, working with six international "personalities" to create new takes on this irreplacable travelling companion. The results were showcased in a pop-up venue iat La Limonaia in Villa Vittoria, each of the six different fine wool travel suits an experiment in colour, weave and wearability. 


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