Postcard from... Florence


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The Independent Online

The picturesque Firenze Fiera exhibition centre in Florence resembled London’s über-trendy Hoxton this week, as 30,000 visitors – mostly in skinny jeans – packed out the world’s biggest men’s fashion event, Pitti Uomo.

Stroking their beards and perusing trends in trainers, the tradespeople and fashionistas enjoyed mild temperatures, a view of Brunelleschi’s Duomo and copious free glasses of Prosecco. With more than 1,000 brands present, Pitti Uomo remains the place to spot up-and-coming labels and underground trends and the appeal lies in looking for novel or outré gear. The latter was supplied by Brick Lane-based designer Ilaria Lepore, that had lederhosen in supplest calf skin. Witty French designer Jour Ferie had the best shoes: classic, handsome shapes in lovely colours.

A Briton turned out to be one of the biggest draws. Tilda Swinton turned up at the nearby Pergola Theatre to perform for the Pitti Uomo show. If The Cloakroom, an existential piece by fashion critic Olivier Saillard requiring audience participation, sets alarm bells ringing, you’d be right. the Italian press said it was “magical and ironic”. To the rest of us it seemed more like the Emperor’s new clothes.