What’s a Sunday without football? What’s a hardwood court without a team to inhabit it? What’s America without it’s national pastime? These might seem like impossible scenarios, questions not worth asking with answers not worth contemplating, but they’re the lingering ideas that I was left to consider this weekend after reading Michael Mooney’s article for SB Nation on the death of Jai Alai in America. Until reading that article, what little knowledge I had of Jai Alai I’d picked up from two equally off kilter episodes of Mad Men and Jackass, which meant that I remembered two things – in the sixties the sport made a push for a rightful place in American athletics, and the game is fast enough to inflict serious (read: humorous) bodily harm.
With today marking the start of the London Collections: Men and the 83rd edition of Pitti Uomo in Florence beginning tomorrow, it’s that time of year again as all the dominoes begin to topple on the Fall 2013 collections. Normally, I try to shy away from covering what goes on at Fashion Weeks, barring the occasional show that I attend here in New York, but Pitti Uomo is always tough to ignore. While, it’s my personal rule that I refuse to fly out to Florence for Pitti until I have a real reason to go (and the only real reason would be that it’s part of my job) that’s not to say that I don’t spend a good chunk of my days during Pitti, sitting at home sifting through the plethora of press that comes out of the trade show. Pitti is where all the heavy-hitters and up-coming brands in European menswear debut their upcoming collections, but what I really like about Pitti is that the brands aren’t targeted toward the high-fashion market that we’ll be seeing on runways for the remainder of this month and next. Instead, most brands are more interested in their legacy as a company, about building upon an aesthetic that people are familiar with. Pitti is about reinforcement, not reinvention, well, at least in the case of most brands that show there. As for the hoards of pea-cocking attendees (and hanger-ons) and the street-style frenzy that follows in their wake, well that’s an entirely different story.