Men’s – Pure and Forever. Jil Sander AW20

For the autumn-winter 2020 season, Lucie and Luke Meier presented their men’s Jil Sander collection at Pitti Uomo in Florence. In the complex of the Santa Maria Novella, where the show was staged (accompanied by three huge heaps of marigolds), stands an ancient pharmacy dating back to the 13th century in which balms and salves have been concocted from calendula for generations. This created a connection to the fine silk tassels – confession box Catholic, but here mostly in monochrome – that sparked thoughts of local historical attire, as did a carefully roughened white habit that passed in the collection. Still, the Meiers don’t need references to stand behind their clothes. Lucie spoke of wanting to make garments with lifetime appeal (“cherishable clothes”). The Shetland knitwear, the fantasic, over-sized tailoring, the ornamental, yet subtle beaded details on the coats – those are clothes that will stay with you forever and never get out of fashion.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Italian Goodness. Salvatore Ferragamo SS20

I’m still in absolute awe. Salvatore Ferragamo‘s spring-summer 2020 collection for men (and resort 2020 for women) was the best thing I’ve seen for a while in fashion. It was that good. No fashion show has ever been allowed in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria before. The view had to be really, really impressive, noting that the models walked in front of David. Plus, comparing to other shows we’ve seen this month, this one had a real sense behind the location: Florence is the company’s home. Now, fashion. Paul Andrew and Guillaume Meilland have already proved that they’re a good match for Ferragamo in their previous. But this one was their best. I fell in complete love with all the jumpsuits the designers sent down the runway – especially the one in deep purple, with a zipper and a belt at the waist. The perfect balance between utilitarian and Italian elegance. Something you would love to wear to your vineyard in Tuscany. I adored all the leather pants and shorts, too. The colour palette, mainly mint, lavender and ochre, was a dream. There’s beautiful tailoring as well as pajama pants. While using the so-called “rave” sunglasses sounds like trying too hard to impress the younger audience, here they looked properly cool. Just wow.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Montepulciano

If you’re travelling by car and got a place to stay at in Florence, you really should go and discover Tuscany. To feel the Tuscan rhythm of life, try Montepulciano. This medieval village rests atop a narrow hill and can be found in an unbelievably postcard-perfect landscape, filled with cypress trees and sun-drenched vineyards…The best way to discover the elegant historic center is on foot: as you walk along, you’ll come across Renaissance palazzos before reaching – at the highest point of Montepulciano – the main piazza. But despite its beauty, Montepulciano is also world-famous for its Vino Nobile, considered one of the best Tuscan wines in the world, made with grapes coming from vineyards surrounding the village. Also, it’s worth visiting the local food stores (I mean, their salami and cheese… well. I can’t believe I ate all the supplies I brought home!) and the oldest library in town – Magnanet Libreria Di Lorenzo Rago. The owner is the third generation of the family that opened it and there are more than 15,000 books (!) in their archives. It’s impossible not to fall in love with this place…

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Florence Addresses

Other than Trattoria Sostanza and Gucci Garden, which I wrote about in separate posts, here are five more addresses I found interesting in Florence.

Florence’s late-19th-century steel-and-glass market building in San Lorenzo underwent a makeover in 2014 when the second floor was converted into a contemporary food hall. On the first floor of the structure, traditional butchers, fishmongers and fruit/vegetable vendors supply the Florentines. But climb the staircase to the upper level and enter Mercato Centrale, a food-lover’s’ heaven that showcases the very best of Italian regional food. It’s a lively space offering sensual overload, and the range of gustatory delights is nothing short of eye-popping.

Piazza del Mercato Centrale 4

If you’ve been to Trattoria Sostanza (or didn’t catch a table…), go to Buca Lapi. It’s not as off-the-radar, but the restaurant serves classical, Tuscan food in a cozy, home-made way.

Via del Trebbio 1r

The name on everybody’s lips these days in Florence is La Ménagère, a space near San Lorenzo market that combines a restaurant, tapas bar, flower shop (which is actually the best part) and a home-accessories collection, concept-store-style. This place impresses with its details and is highly Instagrammable. Not entirely sure of the food though…

Via de’ Ginori 8

Procacci is this chic go-to spot for Florentines, who are exhausted after their shopping on the fancy Via de Tornabuoni. Delicious, little sandwhiches with truffle paste will make you addicted after the first bite…

Via de’ Tornabuoni 64R

Atelier Dipinti e Bijoux is Stefania Pastacaldi’s boutique. It’s the place where you can find exclusive items of refined, properly Italian jewelry. Gorgeous animal miniatures, used later on in jewellery, is the atelier’s signature. All strictly hand-made.

Via del Sole 24r

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

 

Gucci Garden

Florence is Gucci, Gucci is Florence. Gucci Garden is a must-see in this city, but I wouldn’t take it too seriously. I mean, it’s not a museum written with capital ‘M’. Still, it’s an experience, like anything Gucci and Alessandro Michele pull off together. Inside the historic Palazzo della Mercanzia, the museo is housed, conceived by creative director Alessandro Michele. The newly designed space features a store with one-of-a-kind items, the Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura and the Gucci Garden Galleria exhibition rooms curated by critic Maria Luisa Frisa. Divided into a series of themed rooms, the Gucci Garden Galleria narrates the brand’s new vision while celebrating the archives including old advertising campaigns, artisans’ images, retro objects. From the Double G motif to Michele’s Guccification, the house’s universe is presented in a subverted, slightly surreal way. ‘Paraphernalia’ is a room dedicated to signature codes and symbols that define Gucci’s identity while ‘Cosmorama’ reveals the historical jet-set customer of Gucci. My favourite part? Anything by Tom Ford (the white slit dress, iconic kamasutra bomber jacket…). Was quite surprised the brand completely erased Frida Gianini from its history, though…
Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Trattoria Sostanza in Florence

A fact: Trattoria Sostanza is the best restaurant in Florence. Please, if you’re planning a trip to Tusany’s capital, book your table here (at least three-four days in advance). This small restaurant, with a toilet located in the back of the kitchen (yes, you have to go through the entire kitchen, which also means meeting the very Italian cooks!), is the best kept secret of the locals. It might be classical, Tuscan cuisine, with dishes that sound like regular Italian plates. But the taste of every single thing here is heaven. From the Florentine steak and artichoke pie to tortellini stuffed with signature ragout and a plate of tomatoes from the chef’s garden, Trattoria Sostanza really shows what finest Italian food is, in an unpretentious, home-made way. If you’re lucky with the season, you will get wild strawberries (straight from a Sicilian farmer) with your meringue cake – which is a masterpiece. Again, go there. Thank me later.

Via del Porcellana, 25/R / Florence

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Florence

The moment London fashion week was reaching its final moments, I was on the way to Italy for a quite impromptu trip to Florence and Rome – two cities I’ve visited when I was a child and clearly needed a sort of revision. Not in scorching, Italian summer, with crowds of tourists that make you remember just a flood of people going through the corridors of Uffizi, and not Caravaggio’s masterpieces. At the end of February, when Italian spring is already in full bloom, but it’s still the perfect temperature outside to wear a trench coat. And, thanks God, nearly no tourists at all. Ideal way of discovering any place, especially in Italy. Of course, I will post my favourite addresses in both of those cities in the upcoming days. Here, I leave you with some of my favourite moments I’ve captured in Florence – Tuscany’s capital, as romantic and delicious as they say.

Baptistery on Piazza San Giovanni; the street that lead to our villa, hidden in the Tuscan hills just two kilometres from Florence’s city centre; patio of the villa; marble painting at Il Papiro; my mum, wearing a Dries Van Noten fur jacket.

On our way to the centre; pink tights at Uffizi Gallery; typical street situation in Florence; inside of Santa Maria Novella; Prada’s headband.

Bottega Veneta clutches that made us all lose our minds; Santa Maria Novella – completely in love with this place; a very ‘postcard from Tuscany’ clichés (which was actually our view from the villa); Medici’s Palace; mum’s vintage Prada tote from the 90s; Campari!

 

Caravaggio’s Medusa at Uffizi Gallery; Ponte Vecchio (tourist-free as well); a sculpture detail from I can’t really remember where…; another vintage from my mum, 90s Chanel; a street photo booth near the river; Botticelli’s Birth of Venus at Galleria Uffizi – it might cause a heart attack.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Fire at Pitti Uomo. Y/Project AW19

It’s just the beginning of 2019, and we’re already talking about a fashion week. While men’s London fashion week simply seemed to be there, somewhere in the background – with such exceptions as Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s phenomenal spectacle – the new season takes a more interesting path in Italy, in Florence specifically. Pitti Uomo invited Y/Project, the Paris-based label nailing modern-day nonchalance, to present its collection in Tuscany’s magical capital. Glenn Martens took his guests to the Cloister Grade of Santa Maria Novella, and the result was… fire. Indeed, Martens mastered his distinct touches, like distorted proportions, too-short-here-too-long-there volumes and texture clashes to a perfection of its kind, and we know it looking at his previous collections. But the autumn-winter 2019 outing for guys (and pre-fall 2019 for women) goes darker than usual, even slightly dramatic I would say. And we’re not speaking about couture-ish embroideries and ball-gowns. No. But the way the designer tailors a trench-coat, shapes a velvet jacket or elongates a chunky knit is extremely vivid. Those garments leave and breathe! And Glenn evidently experiments with that feeling of clothes in motion. I also loved how Martens injected this flea-market edginess to his new season offering: (faux) fur stoles and floor-sweeping coats looked like stolen from your grandma, while hand-picked Persian rugs were worn as belts and scarves. The vocabulary of Y/Project grows, but  you’re well aware that it’s the same soul. Whether it’s in a off-beat, Parisian location or in one of Florence’s most exquisite churches.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s / Strip Everything Back. JW Anderson SS18

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Looking back at J.W. Anderson‘s memorable man-skirts or heavy boots covered with studs and flowers, you would never believe that the designer might suddenly do something so… simple. “No-fuss fashion basic-ness. Trying to strip everything back.” This is how Jonathan Anderson summed up his spring-summer 2018 collection presented at Florentine gardens of the Villa La Pietra (as a special guest of the season’s Pitti Uomo). And then he added, “I think this is the first season I’ve tried everything on myself. It was like going back into yourself.” Even the jeans are cut in the way he really likes it. And I like this type of cut, too – slightly baggy, cropped. Also, who doesn’t love a pair of off-duty Converse? Anderson collaborated with the sneakers brand for the upcoming season. Multicoloured heart patches bring on the hippie mood of carefree, summer nights. Chunky knits and tattered-looking jackets will be the perfect choice for a breezy beach day. Sometimes it’s worth going chinos and loose t-shirts, to just settle down and chill.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.