Black and menswear have an interesting relationship. For a start, black is necessary for conservative and formal dress: menswear experts will tell you that you need a black pair of oxfords for business suits, your tuxedo, bowtie (which must be black as well), and so on. They will also say to avoid other black pieces like the plague. Black dress shirts look cheap, black suits are never appropriate (except at a funeral), black odd trousers don’t go with anything, and I’ve even heard that black loafers are antithetical to the concept of black or loafers (as in loafers are casual, but black is formal). As a result, for the longest time guys avoided incorporating black into their outfits. However, that seems to be changing.
The difference between a painting and a print are at once subtle and striking. Put a reproduction next to the original, and the former seems flat, dull, and inanimate, whereas the latter is vibrant, engaging, and alive. For some, the simple fact that a particular work of art is the genuine article justifies its superiority, but for me the reason is not provenance, it’s visceral: the texture of brush strokes.
Texture, like many things in life, adds interest and depth to the otherwise mundane and can make something good even better. This is why we take the scenic route instead of the freeway and add chocolate chips to vanilla ice cream, and also why I love Derek’s summer tweed. A 9/10 ounce blend of 60% linen and 40% silk, it offers a visual and tactile uniqueness that is rarely seen in fabric, an intriguing amalgam of irregular consistency and soft hand, dancing between light and shadow.
I’ve really enjoyed seeing Peter’s coverage of Pitti Uomo 96 last week, in particular his Instagram stories (if you haven’t seen them, they’re highlighted on the Instagram page of Styleforum). I’ve also enjoyed the photographs he’s been sending back (with a little help from his friends).
As with Pitti’s past, I’ve sifted through the images and chosen five fits I’ve liked, and found similar (or sometimes the very same!) clothes to emulate the fit.
The first and second days of Pitti are insane – meetings, parties, and press. The third day slows down dramatically, and by the fourth day, everyone just wants to go home. Presently on the train to Rome to start my trip home, I’m just now realizing that I mostly trawled the booths to take as much advantage of the air conditioning as I could. I should have taken more pictures, but I did catch a lot of video, so check out the stories on Styleforum’s Instagram on these makers:
The days and nights are flying by. Plaza Uomo held an event at the Palazzo Budini Gattai, a 16th century that was built and is still owned by the eponymous family. The next day a few of us got a chance to sneak away from the madness. Andreas Klow (@flannelsandtweed) and Aleks Jovanovich (@aleksjj) and I rented scooters for a jaunt in the Tuscan countryside, and later that evening enjoyed good company with Matt Hranek from W.M. Brown Project and Douglas Cordeaux from Fox Brothers hosted a party where everyone ended up parting ways with a smile on their face.
Check out the StyleForum Instagram feed for stories. These photos are from the evening of day one to the evening of day two. Thanks to Andreas and Aleks for sharing their pics when this third-rate pretend-photographer was slacking off.