The world's premier menswear festival, Pitti Uomo, has wrapped up for the 87th time in Florence in a hail of dandified splendour.
- Dandies of the world unite at Pitti Uomo
- The Aussies bring home the best of men's style
The circus has rolled out of the Fortezzo da Basso with the next trends suggesting a return to classicism and old-fashioned craftsmanship.
Here are the top five trends to emerge from the stylish fray.
Past meets present
Welcome back to the golden age of menswear. Paul Fournier, a European-based fashion consultant, happily reflects that we've returned to the fabric patterns people were wearing in the 1930s, '40s and '50s.
"It's more about the traditional fabrics that were around 60 and 70 years ago," he says.
Think small and large patterns, especially checks, giving suits greater boldness and vitality. "If you look at the archives of Vitale Barberis Canonico [an exclusive Italian fabric maker] you will see some of the exact same patterns that you see nowadays. The only difference now is that the fabrics are substantially lighter."
When it comes to the cut, Fournier says the Neapolitan-style unstructured, relaxed jacket is leading the pack. Why? Because nothing else quite captures Italian style.
"It's La Dolce Vita. It is the dream," Fournier says.
British brogues step up
While the English brogue is a staple of classic menswear, the Italians have applied their magic to give the heavy-soled dress shoe an urban, masculine and informal chic.
Being worn with turned-up jeans, or even suit trousers revealing more understated socks, offers a relaxed street feel to what was previously – with a slimmer shoe and brighter socks – a highly-cultivated look. It's a trend that is certain to be adopted by many Australian men in the next 12 months.
More English heritage shoemakers are also adding extra-light rubber soles, offering a softer walking experience.
Playful prints and patterns
The obvious trend in shirts is the all-conquering micro-print. Exclusive Swedish shirt-maker Eton is taking this trend from the lounge room to the boardroom.
"From the distance it looks like a business shirt but when you come up close there's something fun going on, such as small owls, foxes and skulls," says Michaela Mutka, a design manager with Eton. "You can definitely dress it up with a suit and tie, but you can still see the fun part of it."
When it comes to casual shirts, denim and chambray continue to be at the forefront. As for the fit, it's simply a matter of how slim you can afford to go.
Checked jackets featured heavily at Pitti, most noticeably in the collaboration between US style icon Nick Wooster and Italian label Lardini (above), which combined multiple checks in the same jacket in typical Wooster style.
Colour-wise, conifer greens stood out while shades of plum were popular, especially with Savile Row's Hardy Aimes and the luxury Italian label, Sartoria Latorre.
Up to the neck in formality
Formal wear continues to be the epitome of elegance. A tie and pocket square is a must for any man wanting to enter the dandy ranks.
As seen in suit fabrics, many tie manufacturers are looking to the archives for inspiration. English label Drake's featured paisley patterns, as did Eton.
And just when you thought you couldn't accessorise any more, a fine silk scarf arranged neatly under your jacket lapel may be the new necktie for evening wear.
It might be a stretch for some, but it's not like a dandy to shy away from a challenge.
The bling thing
While it's not the main attraction, street wear also featured strongly at Pitti. This time young Italian designer Alberto Premi stole the show with a range of luxury high-top sneakers that take kicks-with-bling to a whole new level.
We'll have to wait until they appear on the market to see if they're on a whole new price level, too.
Jeremy Loadman travelled to Florence as a guest of Pitti Uomo and the Italian Trade Commission.