Jan 14, 2013 6:01PM

Florence Diary: Pitti Uomo

Our Editor hangs with G-Star, checks out Cindy Sherman's show and attends Kenzo FW13.

Pitti, for those who are not familiar, is a gigantic men's fashion fair held in Florence each season. It kicks off the male fashion month, and is where The Sartorialist stalks well-groomed, bearded men who wear tailored suits and nice socks.

I was there for the first day as a guest of G-Star and I interviewed a very exciting collaborator of theirs for our next issue (stay tuned). I was also lucky enough to speak with the head of design, Pierre Morriset, a captivating Frenchman who was responsible for the invention of G-Star's revolutionary 3D jean, the 'Elwood' (which just so happens to be the second most sold pair of years in the world). Pierre's been with G-Star for nearly 24 years — "It's my life, it's my story" — and embodies everything that makes G-Star the successful company it is today: enthusiasm and innovation.

"We wanted to make product that wasn't so strongly tied with history (like everyone else), instead we wanted to be the denim brand of the future. So we work to make modern product," he says. Incidentally, he has a personal collection of more than 20,000 pieces of denim, work wear, and army clothing, some of which are older than 300 years. "I do a lot of study and research, and we are now working on what is going to come next [after denim]. It's going to revolutionize the industry."

Also on the agenda at Pitti was the opening of the Cindy Sherman exhibition at the Gucci Museo. Opening in 2011, the museum holds the Florentine house's archives, which includes — in addition to iconic luggage and leather goods, and red-carpet couture creations — a Flora World, a space dedicated to the house's evocative floral prints in all of its incarnations, and a 1979 Gucci Cadillac Seville. It also runs a program of modern art exhibitions, courtesy of PPR's (which owns the Gucci Group) head honcho and Salma Hayek's husband, Francois Pinault, who has an extensive private collection.  

The new exhibition, Cindy Sherman: Early Works, is a rare selection of work is from the artist's formative years, which took place in Buffalo in the mid-70s. On show are three bodies of work: a short film, Dollhouse, and two photographic series, 'Murder Mystery People' and 'Bus Riders'.

"What's amazing [in this work] is that she evolves from an art student into this incredible artist," Gucci Museo's curator Francesca Amfitheatrof said at the press preview, "and she does it by doing the following: she chooses photography as a medium; she uses herself as a canvas, and then she realises that she doesn't need to narrate stories — she can put the whole story all in one image." The exhibition runs until 9 June.

On Thursday afternoon Carol Lim and Humberto Leon (who we featured in #94) presented Kenzo's FW13 men's collection in Florence's famous Marcado Centrale (the city market). A runway was built high above the food vendors and coffee stalls, and beyond all the flashing stage lights and smoke, we got to watch the sun set through the enormous glass windows, just as the show started.

Fittingly, it turned out that the collection was an exploration of the sky, "Carol and I are in planes every other week," said Humberto post-show. "This space and where we were with our minds, all informed this new Kenzo man," he went on to explain. "I think we showed something for Spring that was really fun, super exciting and energetic, and it really had an urban feeling. So we wanted to show this other side of Kenzo that was romantic and all about tailoring and focusing on the details. There was this absence of hardware and we wanted to let the fabric speak for itself."

Delfina Delettrez, as part of her ongoing collaboration with the house, designed the jewellery and sat front row next to The xx (Jamie XX did the music at the show) and Florence Welch. Delfina is dating 90s heartthrob Stephen Dorf, who hit the DF with her at the after party later that evening. It took place in a ballin’ palazzo on the bank of the River Arno, and the buzz that follows Kenzo wherever it goes carried on late into the night.

Alice Cavanagh

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