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