Dear Shaded Viewers,
Martine Rose Fall Winter 2023 co-ed show in Florence as Pitti’s guest designer me so hopeful for the future of menswear, and to be honest for all women as well. The location chosen was in the heart of the city, beneath the 16th-century loggia in Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, in front of “Fontana del Porcellino” aka the Pig’s fountain, famous as a tourist’s attraction where to put a coin into the sculpture’s mouth to make a wish. The collection can seem “easy” on the eye, casual, not luxury, sometimes messy (in a good way) but has a lot of details, inspirations and moreover is what a man or a woman can wear today. For her Fall-Winter 2023 show at Pitti Immagine – her first-ever outside of London – Martine Rose mix the nightclubbing environment with London’s underground vibes. “I had the best time here in Florence working with Pitti’s team, what we have achieved together is beyond my expectations. The love this city gave me made me wonder why I never showed abroad before. The idea of involving Italian culture, my roots, Florence as a city, the local community, the passion for football “calcio fiorentino” served as inspiration for the collection” said the designer in the backstage. The show’s cast featured a mix of “local heroes” as they call them here in Florence (therefore a huge crowd of fans and locals were cheering from outside the venue), Calcio Fiorentino footballers, Florentines and friends of the brand coming directly from London. The football’s references made Martine Rose decide for a very unique backstage spot as well: inside the headquarters of the various clubs of this sport, which is unique for all and occupies a historic building, the Palazzo di Parte Guelfa.
What I loved was also the multifaceted casting, parading different archetypes of style: from tailoring to streetwear, from exaggerated proportions to more minimal ones breaking the genres codes. The clubbing atmosphere comes in the shape of puffer jackets, then the gentleman with stiff necklines and rigid cuts, the misshapen silhouette is induced in wadded sportswear, in fused and canvassed tailoring and shearling, as well as in boiled knits. A woman can wear a football tee with a long tailored pinstripe long skirt, wearing chunky Ugg (a collaboration just launched) as well as a mega-fluffy pink puffer, or pairing military cargo pants with a simple shirt and a varsity jacket. The show goes on bringing together echoes of American Western clothing with fringing-laser cuts, with a strong presence of low-rise bootcut and wide-leg denim trousers some amplified with buckled waistbands and ripped-and-worn wide denim belts. Squared boots moccasins (typical in the slouchy Rose’s look) were present as well as the highly anticipated and long standing collaboration with Nike for a new release of the Shox MR4 trainer (in light blue and purple) with a print inspired by 1990s’ goalkeeper jerseys. Reimagining an array of UGG slippers by hand-dying their signature sheepskin, to become the clubber’s shoe. A Folded Boot Bag based on those footballers carry their boots in morphs with the codes of a ladies’ evening clutch, while Fuck-Up Bags – are imagined as an apologetic (funny) gift bag. Tailoring and workwear appear in jumbo corduroys evocative of the 1980s, as well as washed cottons and nylons. In men’s tailoring, the collection’s musical premise generates a New Wave-inspired silhouette: sharp, spare and fluid, jackets are boxy, cropped and stripped of decoration, their lapels turned in for a minimal effect, while wrapped coat-dresses for women integrate trouser elements into their side panels.
Overall Martine Rose introduced us to her world, parading the best of Martine’s: where sophistication and sporty attire mix, maybe not for everyone, maybe for the coolest ones. Do we need extravaganza? Nowadays we need well made clothes with something to say. For who has a personality only.