The Australian designers heading to Florence as part of Pitti Guest Nation. PHOTO: Myles Kalus.
Eight of Australia’s most exciting new designers have been selected in collaboration with the Australian Fashion Chamber, to present their collections within Pitti Guest Nation, in the special area Spazio Carra (Central Pavilion – Lower Floor). It is the first time that a project of this scale is presented internationally.
The eight designers involved are: CHRIS RAN LIN, COMMAS, DOUBLE RAINBOUU, EX INFINITAS, P.E NATION, SENER BESIM, STRATEAS CARLUCCI and TEN PIECES.
"We are honoured to present the special showcase Guest Nation Australia at the next edition of Pitti Uomo,” President of Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery, Andrea Cavicchi, said. “Our aim is to promote and enhance cultural research and artistic endeavours, highlighting those areas where fashion finds its creative inspiration and form of experimentation. Australia is becoming one of the most interesting – and quickly growing – places in fashion and creativity today: that’s why we decided to dedicate a Guest Nation project to this country.”
“We have been strengthening our relations with Australia for a while, working closely with the Australian institutions promoting fashion abroad,” said Raffaello Napoleone, Managing Director of Pitti Immagine. “We want to highlight the essence of Australian design and lifestyle, with a selection of cutting edge fashion designers and brands, within a global platform as Pitti Uomo and its audience of international top buyers, media and fashion key players.”
Each of the designers are required to present their Spring/Summer collections utilising Australian Merino wool, highlighting the versatility of Merino wool and its suitability for all climates.
“The Woolmark Company provided the designers with introductions to the Merino wool supply chain,” explained The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough. “This is a wonderful opportunity for the designers and spotlights the Merino wool fibre within one of the most important forums for men’s fashion in the world.”
A photographic and digital exhibition by iconic Australian photographer Bartolomeo Celestino will link the designer’s work together within the Guest Nation Australia pavilion, adding another creative dimension to the showcase. Celestino is a conceptually driven artist working across the fields of video, photography and sculpture. Celestino’s work is concerned with themes of seriality, the return to site and the sublime in nature. Celestino often utilises large format landscape stills as a means of investigating the Australian landscape.
The Australian labels to present at Pitti Uomo are:
CHRIS RAN LIN
Born in China, Lin grew up surrounded by fashion: his mother was a dressmaker and his grandmother had expertise in the artistry of traditional Chinese craft. At age 18, Lin immigrated to Australia, to study fashion at Melbourne’s prestigious RMIT and went on to launch his eponymous label in 2013. Chris Ran Lin believes in the unlimited potential of the knitted garment. His experiments are brave and highly exploratory. Chris brings an old-school tailoring technique married with traditional craftsmanship as the signature handwriting in Chris Ran Lin’s design. His works are lush in colours, delightfully soft to touch within masculinity and have personal association. The intricate knitted pattern and fabric re-creation echo Lin’s manic eye for detail. At its core, the brand’s sensibility is reflected in its quality and craftsmanship.
Luxury swimwear label Commas offers timeless garments of quality and style. Since its inception in 2016, Commas has grown from strength to strength, helmed by its founder and Creative Director Richard Jarman. It was Richard’s beachside lifestyle that inspired him to create swimwear which “are an extension of my wardrobe”. Enter Commas: aquatic menswear label, dedicated to a clean, masculine aesthetic with garments composed of high-quality materials and technical fabrics. Commas is beautiful, timeless swimwear designed locally and created using luxurious fabrics sourced from the best mills in Europe along with key beach basics including spray jackets, shirts and tees.
Double Rainbouu is a beach and resort wear brand founded in January 2016 by Toby Jones and Mikey Nolan, former art and creative directors at cult denim label Ksubi. The alternative for beach babes and pool punks who belong in the sun, an antidote to traditional resort brands, which tend to peddle a lifestyle few truly enjoy.
Lukas Vincent, the Australian designer behind the brand EX INFINITAS, has segmented an aesthetic that combines the lyricism of 70s surf culture alongside a polished, minimalist modern punk. Lukas’ acute ability to combine the Australian trite – everyday – sand, surf and beach sensibilities into refined functional tailoring is testimony to his knowledge acquired from the scene on the streets, as a young nomadic boy raised in a suburban Australian beachside town, combined with his experience working with leaders in the industry in Paris and New York.
P.E Nation is an active-meets-street brand that combines technical qualities with retro-inspired designs. A considered active and fashion brand that supports and celebrates an active way of life, P.E Nation is fit for an everyday urban lifestyle, lived at a fast pace. Blurring the lines between street and sportswear, P.E Nation is infused with a tomboy twist and a colour blocking confidence that makes up the P.E personality, and is complemented by premium constructions, functional designs, performance fabrics and always innovative executions. The technical qualities of the product allow for a vast range of activities - whether you’re headed to the gym, cross fit or HIIT or hitting the slopes, wearing it on your run, or styling it up for everyday comfort, P.E Nation is the perfect choice for that active multi-tasker: functional and fashionable, P.E NATION is the answer.
Şener Besim explores the Ottoman Empire in an iconoclastic collection of eyewear. Born in Australia to Albanian and Turkish parents, Şener has created an eyewear collection, ŞENER BESIM, which embodies the merging of two cultures where youth, freedom and design meet tradition, form and technical excellence. The visual culture of the Ottoman Empire fascinates with its rigorous exuberance and decorative excess anchored in logic and theory. Across its vast former territory from Northern Africa, through Turkey and to the Balkan states fragments of complex geometries, intricate mosaics and staggering arabesques mark one of the most important creative movements, ever. The Ottoman Empire was the very heart of the world, and the first true fusion of the mindsets of East and West.
STRATEAS CARLUCCI is a creative collaboration between Australian designers Peter Strateas and Mario-Luca Carlucci. Each season STRATEAS CARLUCCI creates collections through the concept of binary oppositions as an underlying theme in their work. Designing both for men and women, STRATEAS CARLUCCI has championed a masculine/feminine duality within their collections through the idea of creating a unified collection that is not driven by gender, but by a concept. Fabric innovation and experimentation is a key purveyor in the STRATEAS CARLUCCI brand. Each season the brand continues to develop, yet also, reinterpret fabrics in new and challenging ways. The aim of their studio is to merge art and design through research and experimentation into other mediums and disciplines.
Presented in limited groups of 10, each release delivers a curated selection of lifestyle prerequisites from clothing to art. Launched in 2015, TEN PIECES is a uniform, unisex label co-designed by Maurice Terzini and Lucy Hinckfuss. Releasing their fifth offer of wardrobe essentials, TEN PIECES demonstrates simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Intended to mix and match, you can wear one piece or 10, with each layer elevating the look from street to chic. Relying on influences of modern day punk, sportswear and parkour, this lifestyle brand serves up modern comforts in a uniquely simple, sophisticated and accessible way. At TEN PIECES there are no seasons or reasons, only TEN options that are interchangeable and disposable.