Energetic Pitti Uomo 90: Wool in the Mix for Summer 2017

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Energetic Pitti Uomo 90: Wool in the Mix for Summer 2017

Pitti Uomo W Magazine Picture by Evgen Kovalenko Pitti Immagine Uomo edition 90 in Florence was a blockbuster affair, full of music, colour and energy and top design names, with an increase in exhibitors and visitors. Among the eclectic mix, wool was present in the men’s collections for SS 2017, alone or appearing in various blends in sweaters and summer jackets, being selected for its lightness, warmth and reaction to different temperatures, thus acting as a foil to other precious and natural fibres in bringing specific qualities to the mix. 

From Australian and New Zealand Merino to British wool like specific Scottish and Irish local wool from the Shetland Isles or off the coast of Ireland, specialist wool is identified for a generation interested in the origin of items. Pure wool knitwear was mostly very fine, semi-transparent in places, with different stitches producing different surface effects, like stripes, ribbons or cricket cables. Warmer midweight knitwear examples in wool and precious fibres also had a part to play for summer nights, in fashion colours like yellow, turquoise or blue.

Natural summer fibres were to the fore, blends of cotton, linen and silk, with wool, chosen for appearance as well as coolness and weight; features such as knops, irregularities and differential shrinkage. Wool’s innate climate-regulating qualities are increasingly recognised for base layers, with Merino ‘next to skin’ wear a staple of outdoor pursuits. Hiking was in fact one of the focuses of the styling on offer; field jackets and soft shirts made a bridge between town and country wear so that checked or striped shirts were worn with unlined lightweight wool or wool blend jackets – wool/cotton wool/linen, for a semi-formal approach for office wear in the summer suit where items rarely match. The choice of tailored shorts is becoming more commonplace as urban wear, dressed up dandy-style with trilby hats, waistcoats, formal shirts and jackets and smart shoes, as seen in unofficial line-ups outside the Pitti show.

Classic smooth wool worsted jackets and double breasted blazers were in direct contrast to on-trend short jackets with one or two buttons; the current look is skin-tight, almost shrunken, when buttoned up and makes the most of colour and pattern; colours such as brick, turquoise, or light orange. Jackets and suitings were exuberant for summer; designs ranged from bright gingham checks to madras, large windowpanes with coloured grounds, as well as more restrained, sandy micro patterned versions seen at Savile Row inspired exhibitors, British and Italian labels.

Picture from W Magazine Photo by Evgen Kovalenko Pitti Uomo Summer The South America of the 1950s was evoked by a strong Cuban look; summer wool worsted suits with relaxed trousers with turn-ups, in beige or neutral colours, jackets with pointed lapels and double breasted designs, worn with a fedora hat and white shirt, which seemed to evoke the beat of South American music in the background. Classico Italia and the Neapolitan tailors produced plainer, underplayed worsted jackets in classic colours in smooth lightweight wools and traditional Italian style.

There was a great deal of bold colour work. Red trousers with navy tops, shiny silk/wool mixes for suits in an electric blue, or a dark rich indigo; a veritable flower shop of blooms using the tones of spring in put-together outfits for the contemporary man.

 - Janet Prescott.

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