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Editor's Comment: Menswear that creates a 'moment' to remember

Kirsty McGregor

During menswear trade show Pitti Uomo in Florence last week, I headed to the striking Tepidarium Del Roster to see the latest collection from Italian heritage sportswear brand Sergio Tacchini.

Sergio tacchini at pitti uomo jan 2020

The Tepidarium Del Roster in Florence

The iron greenhouse, designed by architect Giacomo Roster in the late 1800s, sits in the city’s horticultural gardens, and has been described as a “crystal palace”. For the Tacchini show, it was lit in dramatic jewel tones.

The presentation took us through the archives of the brand, from the 1960s onwards. It ended with the autumn 20 collection – the first designed by new creative director Dao-Yi Chow – which had a more muted, modern colour palette and put a fresh spin on some of its styles from the 1980s and early 1990s.

Experiences such as these are, in my view, one of the reasons trade shows are worth attending. As one designer explained to me, it’s about trying to create a “moment” that stands out in people’s minds.

It also summed up what has kept Pitti relevant over the past few years. The show has evolved in line with its menswear exhibitors, mixing casual, sportswear and streetwear brands with formal tailoring specialists.

The continued casualisation of menswear, and ongoing prevalence of retro street- and sportswear, is reflected in our buying guide for the autumn 20 season. Our exclusive edit of the new collections includes the latest take on the 1990s trend, and a more classic – yet contemporary – approach to layering and outerwear.

Meanwhile, in our market overview, we explore how the high street and emerging online businesses are playing with design and new technology to transform the tailoring shopping experience, as formalwear fights back.

We also digest the main trends from London Fashion Week Men’s, where the ongoing absence of big-name brands and large, international retailers continue to cast doubt over how much longer the British Fashion Council will keep it separate from the main womenswear event. For now, the London catwalks are a playground for smaller, emerging designers, who otherwise may have been overshadowed on the schedule.

Their creativity underlines just how exciting a time it is to be in menswear.

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