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From the Runways to the Streets

With Pitti Uomo and two fashion weeks in the bag, what can we expect on the shelves?

Pitti Uomo, also known as one of the most important events in menswear. Since the first edition was held in Florence back in 1972, the platform has catapulted Italian brands into prominence, as well as made the sharply dressed lifestyle an actual thing.

It’s not exactly men’s fashion week, though you’ll usually find legions of well-dressed men treating it thus. Lined up right across the venue are people in their suits, hats, and streetwear—every single one just brooding or sitting down or walking with just the precise amount of casual-AF to catch the eyes of the photographers in the sartorial wild.

It’s become such a phenomenon that #pittiuomo has over 765,000 posts to its name, and has even spawned a mockumentary on the people that attend them. Still, it’s all in good fun, and these are definitely some of the most stylish men you’re likely to see anywhere. Possibly, ever.

With Pitti Uomo 95 having recently ended, will the styles displayed by exhibiting brands and strutting attendees filter through to the streets?

The answer is: yes and no.

“In terms of men’s fashion, things only change ever so slightly within a span of, say, a decade,” says Kevin Yapjoco, the manager of menswear boutique Signet.

Signet is one of the top menswear boutiques in the Philippines, mostly carrying high-quality items that age well over time. This goes for both design and material craftsmanship. Kevin has acted as Signet’s buyer in Pitti Uomo, selecting the styles and brands that it sells at retail.

“It’s a very busy atmosphere because you’re moving from one booth to another. We normally set appointments. One supplier per hour. We try to look around if we see anything interesting and fit it into our schedule.”

The classics are mostly easy to decide on—suits, shoes, and accessories included—but even in a range that’s clearly defined, there’s always something new. Nothing drastic, but still diverging from the usual.

“Sometimes, lapels get a bit wider, then they’re going to look smaller again, then it goes back to the average,” Kevin says. “But actually, we’re seeing more of the older patterns now. Especially checks. There’s a lot of tartans, different takes on the Buffalo plaid.”

So old patterns are having a resurgence, and we’re likely to see more of them over the coming months. But that’s just one part of the story, since Pitti Uomo isn’t just about the classics.

In terms of streetwear, the range is much more varied, and the trade show has hosted Virgil Abloh (of Off-White fame) and MCM in recent years. Short statement jackets and wild patterns were worn across the streets and the show floor, a stark contrast to the sharper looks worn by the more conservative crowd.

While Pitti Uomo might be one of the most important shows in menswear, it isn’t the only one. London and Paris have also just ended their fashion week runs, and even though there might be some unusual trends and materials (such as plastic in London fashion week), the basics remain mostly the same.

“It’s true that trends in menswear just fluctuate to a controlled degree season after season,” says GarageEditor-in-Chief, Rey Ilagan, “It normally doesn’t deviate too much from what’s more traditional. But from time to time, menswear injects new blood into the style quotient.”

So, how much of that new blood will we be seeing in streetwear this year?

“This 2019, I think the hiking trend seen in Dries Van Noten and MSGM and pattern clash, as modeled during the Dolce & Gabbana and Versace shows, will definitely be frontrunners to make to streetwear.”

Checks, tartans, buffalo plaids, and other old patterns for suits; pattern clashes and hiking-inspired outfits for streetwear: it’s going to be an interesting year. And when the next Pitti Uomo rolls around in June, you can expect to find the same well-dressed men in the lines. Only, with new suits and hats and streetwear to show us just how fashionable we’ll probably never be.