Friday, July 20, 2007

La Moda Fiorentina (The Florentine Style): Part II

The other morning Lee and I awoke early. Well, okay 7:30, but early in Florence on a weekend. We decided to go for a walk. I wanted to see the city before it was bursting at its seams with people. It was beautiful and quiet and I felt like we had the city to ourselves at that hour. The walk, going nowhere in particular at first, ended up being a fall fashion tour – window shopping at the best negozzi in all of Florence. Armani, Gucci, Pucci, Prada, Ferragamo. Then, of course, there are the fabulous little shops, privately owned, that carry wonderful collections of clothing, all masterfully displayed.

So here is a visual tour of the windows. My favorite fashion statement, without question, was Armani. After all those years of fairly predictable, conservative (but elegant) clothing, he’s added a twist – J’adore! He’s gone a little “40’s in his look, but more to the point he’s added narrow ankle length black knit pants under his dresses and skirts! It suddenly turns a conservative costume into something incredibly hip, but without being grungy. I think it is something even moi – a 50-something could pull off. Wondering if they show it in the states.

Seems like plenty of classics, too. Ferragamo doing what they do best – but slim. Not skinny, just slim. Pucci doing their thing – just had a 40-year anniversary party here in Florence. Prada shows knee highs with their clothes, very vintage 1920 stockings kind of things – with dresses skimming the knee and round-toed shoes with thick heels. I am thinking the pointy-pointy shoes are GONE! And good riddance. Almost no one here wears the heels with tight jeans – grazie dios – everyone wears flats and clearly, boots are the big deal for fall. In general, high heels aren’t seen. But then, who could traverse the black stone streets of Firenze in heels without losing them?

That very tired UGG-with-short-skirt look is much more refined here. Beautiful low-heeled boots (think riding boots) are worn with knee-skimming skirts. If you are under 18, the skirt is shorter. But, ugh! Can we be done with the UGGS? Especially in Santa Monica, girls, where you haven’t seen snow in thirty years?

On this walk, we saw the most beautiful woman I’ve seen on this trip. I was feeling molto frumpo (I’m sure that is an Italian phrase) by comparison. Okay. She wasn’t a day over thirty. She had a waist. She had in fact, a stunning body, that beautiful olive Italian skin, very dark brown long wavy hair and she was wearing the most fabulous dress at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. It was a halter, open back with criss-cross straps, in red, black and white print – probably silk or silk knit – and the slightly full skirt fell to the ankle. She wore black strappy, low sandals and had a gorgeous young man with a shaved head as her accessory. Lee and I just ogled. I couldn’t blame him. I was ogling, too. Just such amazing fashion sense here. (Of course, he was not looking at the dress.) Have you seen a long dress on anyone in the daytime since the ‘70s? So chic.

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