Sunday, July 18, 2010

On the Street….The Fab 3, Florence

Friday, July 16, 2010

On the Street….Lucia, Florence

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pitti Uomo Recap….The Uniform, Florence

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On the Street….All Viv, All the Time, Milano

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pitti Uomo Recap….Bold Solids

At this recent Pitti Uomo I surprised to see so many shirts in bold solid colors. As you can see in these two examples, it can be done very well when toned down with a navy suit.

The choice of color is extremely important. Because of the shirt’s boldness, if you make the wrong choice, everyone will notice. To be honest, I can’t really imagine a loud purple shirt looking good on anyone.

Along those same lines, I think it would also be a mistake to try and match a boldly colored shirt with an equally bold patterned suit. We’ll see how this emerging trend plays out, but let’s watch this with a very cautious eye.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Perfection of a Simple White Blouse, Milano

It’s been great this summer to see all these cool young ladies embracing the understated sophistication of a well-designed blouse. Whether new or vintage, cotton or silk, solid or patterned, the blouse has been severely under appreciated the last few years.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On the Street….Old World Retail, Florence

When I walked by this shop in the blazing, late-afternoon sun of Florence, I thought “why does this seem so romantic to me?” I realized that it looks so different to my eyes because, as Americans, we would never see a retailer cover up the merchandise.

We would put some ugly orange gel in the window before we ever covered up the product.

I know it is such a cliche, but it is refreshing to see some things still done the old fashion way, even though I’m sure this place isn’t air conditioned, which is not refreshing at all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

On the Street….Biffi, Milano

When I was in Milan last time I made my usual trek/pilgrimage to Al Bazar.

On the way I stopped into Biffi, a great old pasticceria, for a very cold sparkling water. While I was there I was struck by just how professional the gentleman behind the bar looked in his perfectly tailored uniform. Actually, the afternoon that I shot this image was the same day that I posted the young lady in Florence wearing a cleaning uniform. Maybe I had uniforms-on-the-brain that day.

If you compare the two images, I think both are great expressions of self.

I think that the young lady is expressing her self-image at the expense of her uniform: an “I’m more than this job” kind of expression. This gentleman, by contrast, seems to take great pride and respect in the profession he has chosen and expresses that pride in the exactitude of his uniform.

To me, this is also a great example of the difference between fashion and style.

This guy has STYLE. He has mastered the “refinement of detail.”

He stood out dramatically from all the other bartenders, even though they were all dressed exactly the same, simply because he understood the implied dignity of the uniform. I mean, wouldn’t you be surprised if this guy did a sloppy job on your cocktail? His style tells you “Trust me, I take my performance personally.”

I would love to see a return of pride in wearing a uniform, not only from the people wearing the uniforms, but also from the companies providing the uniforms.

Many years ago my Mom use to work for American Airlines. They flew her from Chicago to New York just to have her uniform fitted. Who does that these days? Hardly anyone and our culture is poorer for that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

On the Street….Summer Suited, Milano

I love that he has put a new spin on seersucker.

Monday, July 12, 2010

On the Street….Eighth Ave., New York City