A menswear trade fair is bound to attract a sharply dressed crowd - especially one that's held in Florence, one of the jewels in Italy's sartorial triple-crown. But Pitti Uomo is so much more than a trade fair. Thanks to an increasingly international audience and a surge in the popularity of street-style photography here, this twice-yearly event has evolved into an arena for full-contact dressing - and the natural habitat of the "Pitti Peacock".
An easy beast to spot when you know where to look, this tame bird is most likely to be found hanging around a certain wall. Two-feet high, pebbled and gently curved, it lends itself to being sat upon, while its location in the main courtyard of the Fortezza da Basso, a Renaissance-era fortress that acts as Pitti Uomo's main venue, makes it the ideal spot to grab a moment's rest between daily appointments. Draped in all his finery, cigarette held lazily in the grip of one hand while the other taps away on his iPhone, the Pitti Peacock will smoke, chat and sun himself here in the hope of attracting the attention of the roving snappers.
Draped in all his finery, cigarette held lazily in one hand while the other taps away on his iPhone, the Pitti Peacock will smoke, chat and sun himself to attract the roving snappers
To increase his chances, he'll usually be dressed in some variation of the "Pitti look". Rooted in classic Italian style but executed with a flourish, this look is characterised by a super-slim silhouette, a fearless approach to pattern and print, and accessories - plenty of accessories. It's dandyish, dapper and just a tiny bit over the top, but despite this, it paints a vivid picture of men's fashion at its most liberated, its most celebratory - and its most expressive.
MR PORTER visited Pitti Uomo and its famous wall to learn more about this trademark look from some of its most stand-out practitioners. While there we discovered a manner of dressing that provides even those of us with less flashy plumage with a way to look sharp in summer. To see more, watch our video, above.
Film by Mr Aaron Christian, Video Style Editor, MR PORTER
Words by Mr Chris Elvidge, Senior Copywriter, MR PORTER