Pitti has seemed more subdued to me this year. Les boisterous. The theme – Dance!, or something – has been much less apparent; the only gesture is an installation of gyrating mops in the plaza – many of which are broken by Friday. I really don’t think it’s just me, either. I’d guess there are fewer peacocks, and more importantly, there seems to be less interest in them.
Arianna and I meet late, having stayed out until about 4AM the night (morning?) prior, and it’s pouring rain. We get caught in a burst on the way to the Fortezza, and are soaked through by the time we arrive. The plaza is empty even for a Friday, the weather having forced all but the most devoted away. Some of the true believers stand around, looking wistfully at the wall, plumage and spirits bedraggled. Someone stops me in the central pavilion to take photos; tells me it’s because I fit the image of their brand. The mind boggles.
We make good time through the show; taking photos where we need to, saying goodbyes, talking to people we’ve managed to miss. There are several – strange leatherworkers, artistic milliners, cape-makers – that are worth seeing, but for the most part we’ve done our job. We return to the press room for water, and then it’s over. We leave the Fortezza without a backwards glance. I say goodbye Arianna at her hotel, and meander back through the city, headed for the Piazzale Michelangelo and a last glimpse of Florence.
The duomo rises from the heart of the city. Fog banks and curls through the rooftops, lifts as it kisses the villas nestled in the forest. There is snow atop the hills. To the west, the sky lightens at last into the pale pinks and blues of and the sun at last blushes into evening.
It has become harder over the years to write these journals. Perhaps you’ve noticed if you’ve followed along over the past few years. Part of that can certainly be attributed to fatigue, but when I reach the piazzale I consider that perhaps jealousy is the real cause.
Because, you know, perhaps the moment that most sticks out to me from this entire journey was sitting at the Stephanie Ricci show, when the lights went dark and the music swelled and the wall of roses shone beneath the chandeliers. Clothes I don’t care for in an overwrought, clichéd setting – but moving nonetheless. It can seem frivolous to chase after beauty. But when you catch it at last, when you glimpse the naked imperfection and chaos of the world and relief swells within you, you remember that the chase is beautiful as well, and the discovery well worth the effort.
I suppose that what I’m trying to say, despite the jealous part of me that is tempted not to share these moments with you, dear reader; despite my desire to wave disinterestedly as we let Pitti Uomo fade into internet obscurity as a brief hilarity of the 2000’s, it’s worth remembering that it’s always easy to be dismissive, to look at the unfamiliar and scoff. It’s harder to listen and appreciate.
Harder, but more fulfilling. Thanks for following, Styleforum. We’ll be sharing more thoughts on our favorite brands from Pitti in the near future, but that’s all from Florence. I’ll see you next time.