Martine Rose Fall 2023 Menswear Collection

The venue for Martine Rose’s first ever show outside her hometown was one of the best Pitti and Florence had to offer, a fitting reception for one of London’s finest designers. We were downtown, a few blocks from the Ponte Vecchio, sitting eccentrically under a 16th-century loggia in the Piazza del Mercato Nuovo.

By day, this arched structure is usually crowded with stalls selling passable leather goods and dubious sweatshirts, most definitely not Made in Italy, in front of an abundance of lounging tourists. Tonight it was transformed into a hideously bushy, mirror-ceilinged disco populated by a fast-walking clientele of costumed characters. Some of them looked distinctly London, others were more distinctly Italian, and still others were drawn from fantasy-fueled fusion. minestrone out of two.

At the preview meeting, Rose said that after Pitti invited her to join his pantheon of guest designers this season, “My first question for me was ‘how can I do what I do in London and bring it to Florence?’ And what I instinctively wanted to do was really respond to the culture and history of Italy.”

However, Rose is very specific in her cultural leanings. In London, we regularly return to the late 80s and 90s, a conjuring gallery of rogue types cast creatively through the prism of dance music – mostly hardcore and jungle – and terraced referencing laddishness influenced by attitude, rebellion and soup. about the knowledge of dirt. Here she said she extends this prism to Italo Disco (representing Italian new wave as house) and calcio storico fiorentino (football a contact sport in the Middle Ages) to broaden its frame of reference.

Once we got to the market, things got a little crazy. This eccentric seating – to many an unloved arrangement of love seats – and the choreography to date meant that these fast-walking models carefully broadcast from all over Florence (including local calcio storico players), Milan and London delivered less than two seconds of meaningful eye time.

It was a production stumble, not a design one, but it was a shame I couldn’t fully appreciate the latest update to Rose’s Nike collab, or the many tailored jackets and trousers with half skirts, the waist draped over a satin shirt, that they were strictly party at the back. What you could gather on the spot, plus appreciate it online later, was that this was a vintage Rose with a slightly fresh taste. Fringe tracksuits and tailoring were an interesting way west. The distinctive shapes of thrift shop shoes evoked the Sky magazine years as always. Silhouettes were manipulated with reinforced knits and outerwear with puffy shoulders and nipped in waists. The worn genres clashed in appearance, creating a highly designed seeming chaos that emphasized the starkly different features of the select cast of characters who chose to wear them. The music went from Italo-house to London hardcore.

The happy fact is that Rose’s work has translated brilliantly to Florence, just as we’ve already seen it influentially expressed as part of a larger luxury corps of fashion design, just not under her name, in Paris. After that, Rose was molested right next door Fountain del Porcellino. This fountain is adorned with an ancient bronze wild boar, which legend claims is the transfigured victim of a girlfriend who failed to keep a secret. Touching its snout apparently brings you good luck. Has Rose heard the story? “Absolutely! And I rubbed his nose for days!” No need for luck: Rose makes her own.

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