FLORENCE — Despite the recession, organizers of the fourth edition of Pitti W — Woman Precollection, which ran here June 16 to 19, said attendance increased 10 percent to 4,400 visitors compared with a year ago.
Raffaello Napoleone, chief executive officer of organizing body Pitti Immagine, said he was “very satisfied” with the turnout, and said it confirms “the importance — and the role — of Pitti W on the women’s fashion trade fair scenario.”
Napoleone said Pitti W organizers plan to “continue investing in the event, [and its] international scouting and product segmentation.”
This season, Pitti invited a group of British designers to show at the stately 19th-century Villa Vittoria location, including Christopher Kane, who unveiled his T-shirts and dresses emblazoned with colorful prints of mushroom clouds. There also were Markus Lupfer’s sequined knits and Emma Cook’s soft dresses with flower and bird prints.
Pompeian or tattoolike embroideries embellished white breezy cotton muslin or linen dresses at Isabella Tonchi, also at the Designer Collection pavilion. Tonchi reworked the popular skull or skeleton motif with her own tongue-in-cheek touch on cobalt-blue or black artisanal blouses.
For the first time, a fragrance area stood at the Dogana location opposite the villa, as did a vintage booth with several items for sale that were collected by Angelo Caroli at his A.N.G.E.L.O. Vintage Palace. A contingent of accessories brands was present, including historical handbag labels Desmo and Gherardini flanking Kartell’s colorful ballerinas by .normaluisa and comfortable platforms in earthy tones by Henri Beguelin.
Herno revisited the brand’s iconic pieces, the raincoat and the trench, in a glamorous version. Contrasting color-taped seams accented the raincoat, while the trench, in a shorter, above-the-knee version, came covered in micro hand-stitched sequins in seven bright colors from mauve to ruby-red and sky-blue.
At Prato-based apparel brand Masnada, influenced by Japanese and Belgian designers, volumes, fabric research and finishings are priorities, said Angelo Iannello, a partner in the brand. Masnada showcased a cotton sweatshirt with the material turned inside out and the surface laminated for an edgy and contemporary look. “An exclusive material such as this identifies our collection,” Iannello said.
The brand is available at Takashimaya in New York, among other retailers.
Monica Rusconi, designer and one of the owners of Como-based Album di Famiglia, develops her design concepts for the brand’s women’s, men’s and children’s lines at the same time. The designer played with volumes and minimalist looks, showing oversize denim jeans and roomy raw edge cotton shirts mainly in gray, white and black. Rusconi is also set on using recycled yarns. In the U.S., Album di Famiglia is available at Jenny Kane, Kisan, Juicy Lucy and ABC, among others. Rusconi said she was pleased with Pitti W’s structure.
Alessandra Carta, who launched her brand Carta E Costura two years ago, continued her development of sculptured looks, but this season the focus moved away from the back, with geometric drapes and callalike decorations on the front, or a gauze silk peephole on the side enriching white fitted cotton dresses. Carta said she remains hopeful for the future.
“I am the designer and the R&D manager, I sell and I am the agent of myself,” she said. “And the brand was born in a period of crisis, so I don’t expect success to just happen.”