Going to Pitti and not visiting Drake's is like walking into Mcdonald's and ordering a cup of steamed corn. The British neckwear institution put up a wood-panelled stand littered with intricately floral, geometric, and textured silk ties (we had our eyes on an untipped cerulean square tile print tie). Equally on point were the scarves, which ranged from featherweight linen-cotton squares to longer modal-cashmere pieces, all done up in archival Mughal and hunting prints.
2. Isaia Napoli
Unlikely bedfellows they may be, but pop art and tailoring came together in much more than just fifteen minutes of fame. Taking a tip from Warhol's Vesuvius lithograph, the classic Neapolitan label turned their scarlet stand into The Factory (blonde-wigged, Twiggy-esque party girls included) showcasing impossibly lightweight tailoring in Mediterranean colours and linen-look wool fabrics. At once eternal and modern — and altogether quite brilliant.
It's not often a brand manages to reinvent itself — and it's even rarer if this reinvention is constant. Built around the concept of innovation, the glowing Geox pavillion showcased its cutting-edge wearable technology, from waterproof waxed cotton jackets to super-flexible Nebula shoes. Perhaps most brilliantly, the Italian label presented a range of razor-sharp breathable dress shoes in hand-patinated leather, proving that comfortable footwear is as much for the dandy as it is for the daddy.
Inspired by the Vanderlyn Panorama at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, silk conjurer Marco Kinloch commissioned an oil painter to recreate on a cyclorama his Baroquepalazzo home in Sicily — a recurring motif on the ornate variety of silk stoles, pocket squares, and ties. Our favourite piece? A polo shirt splashed with deep emerald ormolu print, perfect for Pebble Beach or St. Andrews Links.
5. Orlebar Brown x Gieves & Hawkes
Proving that everything is better with a bit of British tailoring, the maverick darling of the swimwear world has collaborated with Savile Row heavyweight Gieves & Hawkes. Alongside the usual graphic swimshorts, crisp jackets and trousers have been given the old-school cartography makeover, with elegant map and tropical prints accenting each outfit. We're getting teary-eyed from all this nostalgia for the good ol' days of travel.
6. Brunello Cucinelli
Florence might be miles from the sea, but the Brunello Cucinelli stand was transformed anyway into the gleaming deck of a (really huge) yacht, replete with masts and ropes, and Breton stripes aplenty. The Umbrian label's signature sporty/sartorial designs were washed over in a refreshingly sea-ready neutral palette, punctuated by mint, lemon, and sky blue accents. Our favourite stand at Pitti, we dare say... as always.
7. E. Marinella
If it ain't broke, don't fix it — just make pockets out of it. Storied tiemaker E. Marinella, long known as neckwear suppliers to the world's diplomats, launched its range of pants and denimwear this season. The trousers — which come in a range of fits named after menswear capitals of the world — have pockets made from the same foulard silks from their ties. Talk about Neapolitan sprezzatura.
8. Massimo Piombo
Set against an all-teal backdrop, the Willy Wonka of menswear did what he does best: transporting visitors to an alternate universe, where Cecil Beaton-esque jewel tones works perfectly well alongside hypnotic geometric prints, inspired by Luchino Visconti's cinematic masterpiece Ludwig. Louche chic meets urbane sophistication meets Neorealist poetry — we heartily approve.
For years the exclusive preserve of elegant ladies, Furla made quite the Pitti splash with its debut menswear collection. Borrowing from the lighter aesthetic of its women's line, yet maintaining a distinctly masculine outlook, creative director Fabio Fusi has produced a range of eyewear, shoes, and leather accessories that remain remarkably versatile — think modular bags that morph from sober office briefcase to Capri-appropriate carryall duffle, in a variety of colourways like mustard, aubergine, and tobacco. Start taking notes, Optimus Prime.
10. Scotch & Soda
Ah, the Dutch. Eschewing a typical spring/summer collection presentation, the Amsterdam label chose instead to conver their sprawling pavillion into a temple of streetwear — a museo della casa, if you will — showcasing fifteen years of eclectic design and inspiration. From imperial Chinese robes to Navajo beaded moccasins, its myriad global sources provided a peek into the distinctive Scotch & Soda alchemy.