The Pitti peacock and his gentlemanly pose is more than just a staged act of fashion excellence. The four-day spectacle in Florence is where leaders of the pack set the tone of what we can expect to see in suiting culture come the warmer months.
This year the Pitti male was right at home wearing gelato coloured suits, bold hanks and double-breasted blazers.
Fashion's rule breakers chose high-waist suit pants with pleats and relaxed jackets, while bold pinstripe found a comfy spot to perch at Pitti.
Pitti Uomo 90 captures the essence of sartorialism
From colour to colourful characters, Australian style blogger Jared Acquaro captured some of the sights and sounds of the world's most famous menswear fair - Pitti Uomo.
Whether these fashion moments translate to the high street remains to be seen, but there are a few lessons we can learn from the Pitti trendsetter.
According to Dom Bagnato the new season's suits in Australia will be driven by texture – think Prato mills of Florence that are known for creating bold textured fabrics.
"I saw every weave possible in suiting at Pitti," says Dom Bagnato.
"It's a collage of fashion history if you like – it was all about texture and weave and this language will translate into the new season's looks," he says.
What happens in Pitti...
With more than 30 years experience in the business, Bagnato says what happens in Pitti mostly stays in Pitti and won't always be a viable option for Australian men.
"Some trends are too risqué for the Australian male," says Bagnato.
"I get excited at Pitti because I love the theatre of it all. Some men create looks that will become genuine trends – of those I'd say soft-coloured suits are back for summer and beautiful textured fabrics will feature," he says.
The Sartorialist's Scott Schuman caused an Instagram stir when he posted a street style image of a gentleman at Pitti wearing a high-waisted suit. His call for a return to this 40s pose didn't gel with all of his fans.
There's finally hints of something new happening in menswear. Higher waists, tissue weight ties, pleats, and jackets that fit slim but not tight. In the look above there's also a refreshing refinement that I hope can fight its way back into prominence.
Old school trends
UK born and Sydney based blogger Miles Wharton is also the Director of The Bespoke Corner Tailors. He spotted plenty of four-button double-breasted suits at Pitti this year compared to six-button last year. It's an old school trend that Pitti men are trying to bring back to the mainstream. We rarely see this trend in Australia where two button suits prevail for the most part.
Wharton predicts summer suiting in Australia will focus on single-breasted pastel suits in relaxed silhouettes rather than super slim styles that have dominated this far.
"I think we will continue to see a rise in separate jacket and trouser combos due to work environments becoming a little more flexible with work wear," says Wharton.
It's all about juxtaposition of colour and fabrication in suits – checks with stripes, pastel paired with muted earthy tones for shirts and accessories. Italian men prefer to wear their suit pants short with no socks and ankles exposed - a trend that hasn't quite taken off in the Australian market.
Peacocks flown the coop?
Helen Seamons, the menswear editor of the Guardian and Observer declared the Pitti peacock done and dusted at this year's event, hinting the manicured suit look was dated and there was a new man emerging at Pitti – one that didn't rely on bright colours but opted for sporty tailoring instead.
Wharton agrees to an extent and says the Pitti man had traded loud suits for a softer hue.
"The Pitti peacock has faded out and people are more interested in seeing well constructed and carefully put together outfits rather than bold prints," says Wharton.
Weaving woolen inspiration
Italian fashion connoisseur Fabrizio Servente has more than 40 years experience in the industry. He began his career at Ermenegildo Zegna as Sales and Marketing Manager of the brand in the 70s, spent almost 20 at the top driving Benetton's message during its golden period, and now works as the Global Strategic Advisor for The Woolmark Company.
When it comes to trends in wool, Servente is the man who knows most. His focus at Pitti was all about wool's progressive voice for AW17-18 – and his template of predictions included plenty of brown, navy, greys and blues.
"The new season in wool is all about weave and fabric finishes," says Fabrizio Servente who travels to Australia four times a year for his job.
"Through the Wool Lab we provide inspirational themes and act as a sourcing guide of what will be big in the season to come," he says.
If the Wool Lab's predictions are correct, next winter's suits will remain focused on checks and stripes – think browns and black while moody grey will always find a voice. There's a return to military tones and heavier finishes. The Oxford look stripe in wool/silk will prevail while houndstooth kemp and herringbone feature prominently for 2018.
"The essence of the fashion game is to change," says Servente. "Every six months textures evolve and wool is interpreted in a new way.
"Winter will focus on heavier looks while summer is all about the brighter pastel finish – that we know for sure because we see it at Pitti and the gelato colours are still going to be big for a while yet."
View the gallery and video above to see some of the suiting standouts from Pitti Uomo 90.