FLORENCE--When Scott Sternberg said he was influenced by West Side Story and Singing in the Rain while putting together his Pitti Immagine runway show, I had a feeling there would be some epic musical element to the event, which took place yesterday at sunset on the grounds of an old tobacco factory.
And there was. Not only did it feature music from West Side Story, there were also professional dancers/models who opened and closed the show, launching into it with those famous finger snaps.
Between the dance numbers we got to see four full collections: Men's Spring 2012, Women's Resort 2012 (Boy.), Diffusion Resort 2012 (Girl.), and Men's Casual Spring 2012 (This is Not a Polo Shirt). It sounds a bit overwhelming, so let me put it this way: everything Sternberg has done for spring was shown last night, except for his women's collections. Those will launch during New York Fashion Week in September, per usual.
There was plenty to love for women, from a khaki suit to high-heeled Manolo Blahnik bowling shoes. (I particularly liked the white oversize blazer.) For guys, I prefered the soft, stripey camp tees from This is Not a Polo Shirt, a pajama shirt from Band that could have appeared in The Pajama Game, and a white tux with a the traditional stripe...in black. There were also wide pinstripe blazers, reminiscent of the 1980s power suit look that Sternberg was also channeling. A gal in a black leather skirt and cropped houndstooth jacket made for a perfect match to that '80s power broker, looking more Signorney Weaver in Working Girl than anything else.
It was a wonderful, upbeat, well-produced show--and it left everyone smiling. But what it also did was give Sternberg the stage he deserves. As a still-young designer who produces ultra-high quality items in very small batches, exposure like this to the European market is invaluable.
**Photos by Dan Lecca.