Back to Italy’s Fashion Root

by: lunaviola

Many of you may get the understandings of the fashion world from the film The Devil Wears Prada. Those untouchable scenes to the common end could be glamorous but meanwhile scaring. But let’s try to simplify the panorama of this dazzling kaleidoscope with a synthesis in 2 lines: So what it is all about.

Fashion Week

The overture could be curtained up with the introduction of fashion week, which is a fashion industry event, lasting approximately one week, where fashion designers, brands or “houses” display their latest collections in runway fashion shows to buyers and the media. These events influence and forecast trends for the current and upcoming fashion season.

The most prominent fashion weeks are held in the fashion capitals of the world, twice a year and according to the standard sequence namely: New York, London, Milan, and Paris, or the “Big Four” which receive the majority of press coverage.

Haute couture is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing, made by hand from start to finish, with guaranteed high-quality, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to details and finished by the most experienced and capable sewers weapon with hand-executed techniques. In modern France, haute couture is a protected name that may not be used except by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. From the tradition until today, Paris has been and still is undoubtedly capital of haute couture.

Prêt-à-porter, or better “ready-to-wear”, is instead the term for factory-made clothing, sold in finished condition in standardized sizes, as distinct from haute couture or made to measure or bespoke clothing tailored to a particular person’s shape. In this case, we are dealing with standard patterns, factory equipment, and faster construction techniques to keep costs low.

Fast fashion, represented by Zara or H&M, and “See Now Buy Now” is another contemporary term and concept that is out of the tradition fashion system and the whole section still needs time to reflect how to respond to this new coming scene.

Back to prêt-à-porter, here it is, the forerunner and capital of ready-to-wear: Milan Fashion Week. But interestingly, the root of the Italian fashion is not borne in Milan, but in….. Florence!

Glory of Florence in the History of Italian Fashion

Minister of Elegance is a book that I would highly recommend you to browse through. In a very vivid personal perspective, Beppe Modenese, Honorary President of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, narrates how he witnessed the whole history of the Italian fashion, of course with lots of intriguing episodes covering almost every esteemed personage in fashion field that you may possibly imagine, actually also expanding in other fields, like maestro Riccardo Muti, top 1 Italian opera director, just one of many examples.

February 12, 1951 is destined to be highlighted in the history as the date of birth of Italian fashion. Florentine businessman Bista Giorgini organized the very first fashion show of in Italy in his own Villa Torrigiani, when displayed the collections of designers as Fontana, Jole Veneziani, Fabiani, Simonetta, Germana Marucelli, Pucci, Noberasco, Carosa, Schuberth. Finally the monopoly fashion scene of Paris was vigorously broken by Italians. From the 4th Edition, Giorgini moved the location of fashion shows to Sala Bianca in the Palazzo Pitti of the Medici family, and since then Pitti has become synonymous with the new era of Italian fashion.

But why Milan, not Florence Fashion Week? Well, the organizer of today’s Milan Fashion Week Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (CNMI, National Chamber of Italian Fashion) was actually founded in Rome in 1962. Then for the resultless rivalry between Rome and Florence who could represent better the Italian fashion, in the end, as the Chinese proverb says “the cranes compete and the fishermen benefits”, eventually Milan came to the scene and was easily crowned, partially also because of its industrial, business and editorial solid base.


Florence, even losing its primary status as the fashion capital of Italy, today still shines as the global center of men’s fashion.

 “Pitti Uomo”, in its proudly 97th edition, would be held from Jan. 7th to 10th, 2020 in Fortezza da Basso in Florence. As of today, the data is recording 1,203 brands, of which 540 from overseas (45%) and 265 are new entering with registered 23,800 buyers (of which 9,100 are foreign buyers)

The new theme of this winter season would be “Show your flags at Pitti!” With the colors and geometries of a flag, Pitti would be centered as the “United Nations of Fashion”. Each brand has its own flag, but every one of us could become a flag ourselves. The common thread is that rectangle fabric on which lines, colors and patterns interweave. Pitti obviously struggles to get back to the center pole of the fashion root in Italy.

Jill Sander, Guest Designer Pitti Uomo 97

Lucie and Luke Meier, creative co-directors of Jil Sander, will be the guest designer of Pitti Uomo 97 and present their new menswear collection of the iconic fashion house with a special event in Florence on Jan. 8 Wednesday 8 January.

Lucie’s fashion credentials are impeccable, with a glorious curriculum of working experience in Louis Vuitton under Marc Jacobs, at Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquière, and at Dior under Raf Simons as head designer of women’s haute couture and RTW collections. Luke studied finance and international business at Oxford before changing gears, then 8 years as the head designer of Supreme, the sensationally successful label that sits at the pinnacle of unremitting coolness.

The two were actually met and fall in love in Polimoda of Florence, so both this couple and the audience very much look forward to seeing how they would reshape the iconic minimalist codes of Jill Sander back to Florence, their sweet memorable and meaningful city.

75th Anniversary of Brioni

With the embarrassing numerous news to choose from the next Pitti, we have to pick out and conclude with the not-to-be-missed Brioni.

In 1945, Brioni opens its first boutique store in Rome and soon became the lifestyle of choice for movie stars, heads of state and business leaders.

In 1952, Brioni is the first brand in history to stage a men’s fashion show pioneering the usage of male models. The event which took place inside the Sala Bianca at Palazzo Pitti in Florence introduced new silhouettes, bold colors and innovative fabrics.

Happy Birthday Brioni! This time, Pitti has invited Brioni to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a special presentation to be held on the opening day of Pitti on Jan. 7, 2020. Save the date right now and expect the big surprise!

As the current president of CNMI Carlo Capasa concluded in the press conference, Florence and Milan are coordinating ourselves more strongly than ever to consolidate as 2 most important moments of men’s fashion world and our richness lies on our internationality that we are able to jointly attract the world attentions of buyers and press.