Sartorial stars of 2016: the best moments from the catwalk at Pitti Uomo

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Pitti Uomo, the world’s foremost menswear trade show, concluded this weekend in Italy. This year’s event featured a record number of brands – 1,219 displayed their wares in 59,000 square metres of floor space. The show was attended by 36,000 people – almost a quarter of whom travelled from outside of Italy.

First staged in the early 1950s, Pitti Uomo is where obscure brands grow into household names and the forthcoming season’s trends are set. Here is our pick of the highlights.

Most promising

The menswear final of the International Woolmark Prize took place as part of this year’s Pitti Uomo. India’s Suket Dhir scooped the prestigious crown, which was first won by Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in 1954.

From 70 international nominees, a shortlist of six competed in Florence for the US$70,000 (Dh256,900) cash prize as well as retail space in international luxury department stores.

Dhir, based in Delhi, won judges over with a collection that featured hand-dyed yarn and woven wool from southern India. The stars of the show were the loose trousers, which Dhir says were “a homage to my grandfather and a rebellion against all the skinnies”.

Best collection

Breakout star Vittorio Branchizio delivered the week’s highlight collection, presenting unconventional yet wearable garments that were tailored to perfection.

Favourites included the wool hats, abstract textiles and geometric print outerwear that looked like armour. The colour palette of blues, pinks and greys was charming, too.

Most inspired

Juun.J’s debut in Florence was memorable for its voluminous clothing, which the Korean designer says was inspired by a fusion of Parisian cosmopolitanism, his Asian roots and the military aesthetic. We adored the oversized coats and the oh-so-Tron footwear.

Best presentation

Ever-reliable sportswear label Adidas Originals was reinterpreted by Yosuke Aizawa, the esteemed designer behind the Japanese brand White Mountaineering.

Imaginatively staged in an empty warehouse, where models stood still amid wan installation of triangular lighting fixtures, the collection featured athletic garments that combined traditional tailoring with technical materials, design and functionality.

Best trend

Shorts for playing hoops these definitely are not. Tailored pairs with a fixed waist and billowing legs were all over the catwalks, notably in Agi & Sam, Munsoo Kwon and Adidas Originals by White Mountaineering. They were all worn over tight trousers.

Best accessory

At the runways of designers Siki Im and Ikiré Jones, we loved the jumbo silk scarves that casually hung on the right shoulders of the models. Honourable mention goes to Jonathan Christopher, who cleverly covered a model’s head with a royal blue knit scarf.

Most conscious

Design school the European Institute of Design (IED) in Florence collaborated with Save the Duck – a label that produces ultralight and dapper down jackets without using goose down – to produce 10 artworks created by its students.

They reinterpreted the Italian brand’s wares by enhancing them with innovative products, drawing inspiration from ecology and recycling.

Now seven years old, the IED plans to launch its own fashion label in the next 12 months, possibly becoming the first school in the world to do so. For more, visit

Best combination

Federico Curradi demonstrated how seemingly clashing textiles and colours could complement each other. The key lies in the interplay between tight and loose-fitting pieces.

Best look

South African designers Lukhanyo Mdingi and Nicholas Coutts collaborated for a collection that combined Mdingi’s minimalism with Coutts’s signature weaving.

The standout was a slightly zany all-green knit ensemble that managed to exude high style and high comfort.