Sunday, January 19, 2014

Florence's 2014 Winter Pitti Fashion Shows

As usual in early January, energy in Florence is at maximum voltage thanks to the Pitti Immagine fashion trade fairs at the Fortezza da Basso and the Stazione Leopolda.  The first events, Pitti Uomo
(men's collections for fall/winter 2014-5) and Pitti W (women's pre-collection again for fall/winter 2014/5) attracted a record 21,000 buyers and an additional 9,000 visitors (including the press).
All had access to stands featuring 1000 labels in menswear and an exclusive 70 brands of the women's pre-collection (for the record, your faithful Beautiful Florence blogger
 has never quite understood the term 'pre-collection').

Events spilled out into Florence's shop windows and streets, as well as historic palaces and exclusive locations (the National Library and the British Institute Library to name just two) that hosted gala events and runway shows.  On our part, we put out a special fashion issue of Vista and provided coverage in our English-language column 'Day' for the Florence section of La Repubblica.   Above is a display of designers from Holland in a happening called 'The Dutch Touch,' which took place in the five star Savoy Hotel.

Dressed in total black with showy gold earrings, I attended, along with Beautiful Florence's faithful blog photographer Janelle Piva, who took the photo above, and our fashionista Elizabeth La Barbera,
author of the articles in La Repubblica.  The event was so crowded that we were advised to come back in a half hour.  I had read that another new Prada boutique was having its opening, so we decided to head over there.  Below, again taken by Janelle, is one of the Prada bags displayed.
En route over there, I reminisced about the good old days when not only were journalists were invited to the inauguration of fashion boutiques, but were given bags containing small gifts on their way out,  Thanks to this custom, I am the proud owner of a Prada cosmetics bag (the only Prada I possess), a pair of Giorgio Armani sage green silk pillows accented by discreet lilac stripes, and until it broke,
a leather Trussardi key chain.  That custom has gone by the wayside, leaving only the delectable food
and drink provided.  That is, if you can get in.  We had not been officially invited this time around (it depends on the coordinating press office's list), so I simply pulled out my professional press pass,
which as Elizabeth noted, "is like gold."  Then, seeing the security armed with I pads, I simply invited them to view Elizabeth's article posted on the Repubblica web site.  They didn't bother, and just motioned us to enter the fashion temple.

chilling on ice
in a
silver bowl,
poured in flutes
and served by
elegantly dressed
wait staff

But alas,
unlike at the
'Dutch Touch'
we were to attend later,
no miniature course servings
in sight,
not even
 hors d'oeuvres.

The following week,
Elizabeth, thanks to previously-arranged
attended 'Pitti Immagine Bimbo'
where pint-size trendsetters
took to the catwalk, modeling 450 fall/winter
fall/winter collections for 2014-5.

Each brand was also exhibited at individual stands,
just as in Pitti Uomo.

This edition of
Pitti Bimbo attracted
7,000 buyers
and 3,000 other visitors.

Not in Janelle's company
on this occasion,
Elizabeth herself
took this picture
of a Pitti Bimbo stand.

Encouraged by our positive experiences at Pitti Uomo's special events,
Elizabeth and I decided for an encore at the presentations of Pitti Bimbo.
With the 'What's Hot Today' Pitti newsletter visible on our I phones,
we decided to stop at LuisaViaRoma's 'Milk'
thinking it was a creative name for a children's event.

Sure, there were tots posing in outfits, more champagne (with finger food),
photographers shooting on prepared sets but the hilarious thing was...
we had no idea it was the 10th anniversary party of the famous French children's clothing magazine
'Milk' (why not Lait?...).  The answer is...the magazine is in English.  Go figure.

From there it was to the opening of Dolce & Gabbana's children's boutique,
next door to Emilio Pucci.
There we found a shop window filled with southern Italian specialties--true to Dolce & Gabbana's Sicilian origins..fruit-shaped marzipan, miniature cannoli, and almond nut brittle.

What surprised us that it was not only for show, but were the refreshments.
I ate two cannoli (this was 6 pm) and called it dinner...

...and walked around admiring 
Dolce & Gabbana's fashion statements for children.

Some Italian parents were having their kids try on outfits--I guess their wallets were not affected by the current recession...

With Janelle hard at work in the office writing an article on a fashion photography show, new arrival
Marilyn Malara from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was pressed into service to take pictures.
She, rightly so, received one of the rare glasses of champagne served by sporadically-appearing waiters.

Then I spotted what I hadn't seen in ages--gift bags!
Excited, each of us took one.
But when we arrived back at the office, we discovered
that we were now the proud owners of a
Dolce & Gabbana shopping bag, a catalogue
of their children's fashion...and
a complimentary giant lollipop.

Sign of the times.

Reporting live from Beautiful Florence
                                                            -- Rosanna

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