Oh A.N.G.E.L.O!

by United Blogs of Benetton on: July 2nd, 2010

I was in Florence to cover the events at the Pitti tradeshows but that doesn’t mean I was keeping the eye off things for myself. My favourite section isn’t some well groomed menswear dapper label but instead, the vintage section as part of the Pitti Woman fair, a gathering of Italy’s finest vintage dealers showing their wares.

I haven’t had the fortune to visit A.N.G.E.LO. which describes itself as a 3 storey vintage palace in the centre of Lugo in North Italy selling over 80,000 used garments. It was set up over 20 years ago by Angelo Caroli and Mario Gulmanelli and sells everything from valuable designer vintage pieces by the likes of Chanel, Versace, Dior and Alaia to historical vintage dating back to the 18th century which can be hired for film, TV, theatre and editorial purposes.

At Pitti W, A.N.G.E.L.O. were presenting their latest line of recycled vintage wares where they have reused and adapted vintage pieces to give new contemporary life to them. Vintage fur is still a controversial topic as to whether it’s deemed ethical to wear it. On an aesthetic level though, A.N.G.E.L.O. has changed up this fur caplet well adding silk scarf inserts to it or creating unexpected fur sections on a coat

I also love what they have done to this duffel coat, chopping it up into a cape and adding denim accents to it…

For the occasion of Pitti, A.N.G.E.L.O. also set up a Happy Kilo stall where vintage clothes were sold by the kilo for EUR15 each. By Kilo vintage is not really a used concept in London like it is in say Berlin so I was glad to see a haute vintage seller take to this bargain hunting method. I didn’t have time to wade through but on first glance, men could have benefited from some amazing 70s tailoring and women could get hold of some wonderful aged 40s tea dresses…

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 Pretty Palazzo

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 30th, 2010

Sometimes, you have to pinch yourself a number of times when you find yourself in a surreal situation and as it happens, working in fashion, you just happen to encounter many surreal situations. Actually, correction, when you’re lucky enough to find yourself regularly going to shows, attending events and being thrusted into a certain sector of fashion, then you might keep pinching yourself until your cheeks are a bit bruised.

I didn’t need to pinch anything. Instead, I got bitten by droves of mosquitos in Florence where the S/S 11 Pitti Uomo and Woman show took place. Belgian designer Haider Ackermann was this season’s special guest for Pitti W.

The presentation of Haider Ackermann‘s womenswear precollection and S/S 11 menswear debut was held at the illustrious Palazzo Corsini on the river bank in Florence. The sun was just setting as we arrived and we then entered a palace that had this quality of decay, whilst being simultaneously well preserved. Here’s a pinch moment.

Then we saw this beautiful beautiful Baroque-style fountain in one of the chambers… another pinch moment.

We were then led into a long banquet room where a feast of seasonal fruits and wine had been laid out for us. People started decadently eating fruit, making merry and generally re-enacting a Bacchanalian feast. Cue another pinch moment where I felt like even this was a little bit too over the top.

The show was about to begin and we were in the central courtyard where the sky was just getting dark and so chandeliers were suspended in the middle to light the show. In the middle violinists and a surprise performance from model Jamie Bochart provided the soundtrack as we sat in antique chaise lounges and chairs. We were also being served champagne all the while. Is this as nauseating as it sounds when I type it?

The clothes themselves were as sumptuous as the location – a silk road journey of textiles woven and draped into a loose and easy traveller’s wardrobe for the men and beautifully revealing dresses for the women.

Oh, yes and more champagne at the end. Sometimes you have to keep pinching and NOT get used to events like this lest you one day get jaded at beautifully constructed shows with fruit feasts in Baroque palazzos…

All photos by G. Giannoni

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 Flourishing in Florence

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 23rd, 2010

This is my second time visiting the Pitti Uomo tradeshow in Florence. I already knew it was a hotbed of dapper menswear style, expressed through immaculate tailoring, subtle details and clever accessorising through blogs such as The Sartorialist, who has always championed the street style at Pitti Uomo.

I’m fully aware of the fact that I personally stick out like a sore thumb because a) I’m a girl, b) I’m not Italian and c) well.. just the fact that my clothes don’t fit in at all.

Case in point, I think I may have took it a step too far when I was going around interrogating well to do menswear brands with their subtle detailing and beautiful fabrics whilst wearing an outfit that someone has titled Sugar Sparkles – here I’m wearing a pleather top, an Emma Cook shirt, some Romance was Born tinsel gym shorts, H&M cycling shorts, my new Nicholas Kirkwood sandals, topped off with a printed Swash rucksack.

In contrast, here are the type of gentlemen that have been walking the grounds of Pitti.

All photos by Tommy Ton for GQ.

Oh well, a major FAIL in terms of trying to blend into the background.

But then you spot gentleman like this one here. I’m not sure what it is he does but he turns up on streestyle blogs quite regularly. I’m sure he gets tagged with eccentric, quirky and eclectic much like my style gets tagged with the same things. I love that he does write his own rules in terms of his style, putting his personality out there through his clothes whilst confining himself to the language that underwrites menswear. Unfortunately, womenswear doesn’t have those boundaries and thus you get crazed ensembles such as my tinsel short outing. Actually, why am I saying Unfortunately… – nay, I maintain that I love the boundary less quality of womenswear… and as menswear shows are beginning now in Milan and Paris, perhaps we see the boundaries being erased one by one anyway.

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