The title Pitti Immagine 100 labelled both Pitti Uomo’s latest edition and the whole of the June-July exhibition cycle in Florence. It saw physical versions of Pitti Filati, Pitti Uomo and Pitti Bimbo in the same week. The number 100 being reversed to show 001, a new start, suggested CEO Raffaelo Napoleone.
Pitti Filati 89 was staged in the Stazione Leopolda, long favoured as a stark but effective backdrop to numerous high profile fashion events by Pitti Immagine over the years, the men’s and children’s shows still in the Fortezza da Basso. Vintage Selection also returned to the Stazione Leopolda.
The final verdict for the show seems positive. The online element is continuing, representing another successful edition of Pitti Connect, its excellent digital platform, serving all three shows with events, spotlights and a strong linkup with social media.
Various sections enabled exhibitors in this edition to have a dual existence, both in real life and on the internet, with some companies, affected by different pandemic regulations in various countries, appearing solely in digital form.
The yarns and developments at Pitti Filati incorporated many well-known known elements, such as the well-regarded Research Area (Spazio Ricerca) developed as ever by Angelo Figus and Nicola Miller; the Feel the Yarn competition; individual launches of new products and individual publicity. All with an increasingly slick set of PR by Pitti Immagine and individual exhibitors, involving many aspects of social media. It results at the same time in reaching out to the trade and also to the general interested public who follow specific companies.
There is a growing realisation that students, especially those nearing Graduation the end of the Masters experience are vital to help the highly skilled companies who participate in the Pitti shows to exploit the latest trends and thinking on knitwear. By forging a co-operation between technical knowledge and innovation it is intended for mutual help, the establishing of quality supply lines which can also be certified in various ways to fulfil current sustainability goals.
To this end Pitti Filati hosts Feel the Yarn, which is developing its strategy. Industry judges, retail names, and high-profile colleges with skilled students are forging strong links. Ornella Bignami, the founder, is the driving force in bringing innovation and discipline into the mix, interpreting the luxury yarns provided from various exhibitors in Filati.
In the same way, CKD (Creative Knitwear Design) Master Cube a film about fashion overlaid by film maker Lars Von Trier’s dark imagination and presented by the Roman Accademia Costume & Moda and Modateca Deanna, was shown during the fair as an event,
Lineapiu, always on the lookout for new talent, announced teaming up with the Istituto Marangoni with a six month post graduate course in fashion knitwear design, the result on their stands, deconstructed styles, tactile stitching and hanging yarn contrasted with more ornate colours and designs.
Eco themes continue to dominate. Sustainable raw materials production methods and sensitive marketing are responding to current conditions with many strong commitments to change.
Botto Giuseppe’s finely spun Slowool, with cradle-to-cradle certification, wool yarns produced to RWS standards. Yarns from Merino, and cashmere, included elements of decorative synthetics, metallic looks and shine as well as alpaca, silk and vicuna in many shades of natural green, faded neutrals and brilliant acids.
Lanificio dell’Olivo had a way with soft and fluffy pale pastels, and inventive use of colour morphing from one area to another. Simplicity volume and transformation were the themes, fancy wools some in watercolour hues, alpaca and baby kid.
Woolmark Company’s new Wool Lab Digital is free to use, for reference to design direction, samples of wool yarns and fabrics from international sources, enabling ease of contact with suppliers and buyers. Content follows the Wool Lab direction presenting trends and headings. This year presented as Living, Workwear, In Motion and Hybrid.
Workwear itself was a frequent reference on the stands the meaning of the word is broadening out into a variety of interpretations, including yarns, fibre and constructions with durability and innate strength for sustainable garments.
Botto Poala, Filati Color, La Rosa Imola, Magliera came to Pitti physical as well as famous names such as Ilaria and Filpucci renowned for creative fancy knitting yarns.
Lanecardate emphasised renewable, recyclable, biodegradable and non-toxic natural fibre, part of a band of companies which also offer mulesing free wool as a direct reply to retailers who report in turn that they respond to customer demands, still a live issue.
This year the Spazio Ricerca took as its slogan the word Transformer, the designers saying: “We have to foster a new vision of the future that certainly cannot be the way we see things today.”
“Transformation is highly energized; it is a concept intrinsic to life; nature, biology, mathematics and sports.” Broken geometrics were knitted in green, beige, orange; intricate stitches, and knits adorned sparingly with ribbon and decoration but with performance features.
Suedwolle’s upbeat collection of colours dominated the flat knitting collection of Biella Yarn. Brights and pastels coexisted, stressing yarns for an active life after lockdown measures. Merino Extrafine, 50/50 blends with GRS certified recycled polyester were new, also new OTW technology for wool garments with a clean and smooth surface, retaining the Merino handle.
Shima Seiki Italia showed the results of its concentration on technical development in showing the capabilities of their machinery, realistic manikins conveying the different demands which can be placed on products and their imaging.
Marchi e Fildi included many interesting developments in blending. Filidea Woolcot is among its contemporary collections, blending organic cotton and extrafine Merino; Cleopatra and Selene, came in organic cotton and cashmere. Chlorine free wools accompanied Bemberg Cupro, the latter with bright shades and semi plains. Ecotec technology blends interseasonal cotton with Lenzing Ecovero.
Invention is the feature of the season’s collection altogether at Pitti Filati for the winter of 2022/23. Over 1700 people attended the physical fair, as the first among the major international fashion events. The Stazione Leopolda venue worked, with tables of fabrics laid out for tactile examination by masked buyers, some of whom came over from the USA to the delight of the organisers.