Austerity chic shines amid the glamour of Florence

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Milan may have the muscle power that named international fashion designers give the city, but Florence knows it is prettier, more aristocratic and romantic than its industrial sister in the north.

Milan may have the muscle power that named international fashion designers give the city, but Florence knows it is prettier, more aristocratic and romantic than its industrial sister in the north.

And last night Florence was putting on the glamour when it played host to the bi-annual men's fashion event, Pitti Immagine Uomo , throwing a lavish party for the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto.

Every season, Pitti Uomo collaborates with a global fashion name that's the equivalent of a big box-office star. These stars bring fashion editors from The New York Times , US Esquire , GQ and the International Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes to town.

Yamamoto performed a triple whammy with a catwalk show of his Ys Yohji Yamamoto label, an exhibition of his archives in the Palazzo Pitti's Galleria d'Arte Moderna and a dinner in the Sala Dei Gigli in the Palazzo Vecchio. Yamamoto, who shows his mainline collection in Paris, said: "Basically I'm a very lazy man. I hate having to run by the busy schedule."

But team Yohji excelled themselves on the Florentine extravaganza. Yamamoto's evening proves that anything Milan can do Florence can do better.

Yamamoto's Ys catwalk show was held in the Stazione Leopolda, a monolithic disused train station. The designer must have booked every male model in town to show off his austerity chic. Yamamoto's Ys collection is recognised for an almost philosophical understatement. Shrunken black jackets with corset lacing on the vent and sleeve were shown with Romantic white high-collared shirts and wool jersey fluid trousers.

There is nothing to frighten the horses except for a tablecloth-check blanket coat. Madonna and Guy Ritchie have been photographed this week wearing Ys tracksuit tops.

The fashion pack were then escorted to a fleet of black Mercedes and driven to the grand, grim Palazzo Pitti that housed the last king and queen of Italy.

In collaboration with Carlo Sisi, the curator of the palace's Galleria d'Arte Moderna , Yamamoto presented an exhibition called "Correspondences". Pieces from Yamamoto's archive were married to paintings and sculpture from the gallery's collection of 19th- and early 20th-century work. There are more than 4,000 works in the 30 rooms of the Galleria D'Arte Moderna for Yamamoto to choose from.

Pieces by artists such as Canova, Fattori, Lega and Signorini were coupled with gowns by Yamamoto, creating what Pitti Uomo 's Francesca Tacconi called "a dialogue created by the placement of the garments and the artwork".

The exhibition will be opened to the public from today until 6 March. In April, it will be recreated at Paris's Musee de la Mode .

Comments