Did I mention it was blistering in Florence? I could have laid out a pizza on the pavement and I would have gotten a crispy and crunchy crust. Wandering around the vast and cavernous Pitti Uomo looking at men struggling to keep stay sweat-free in their buttoned up three-piece suits wasn't exactly conducive to staying cool. Pitti Uomo had devised a clever set-up, whereby certain designers were given a timeslot to give us fair wanderers a glimpse into a brand through an installation or a performance, an alternative to the standard tradeshow stand format. Illustrator, print and accessories designer Pierre-Louis Maschia just so happened to be one of those designers doing his "alternative set" and so we got to enjoy the best of Florence's weather, under the shade of the most colourful awning and umbrellas out there, lounging around on vividly printed cushions and towels, sipping prosecco and munching on artisinal bread sticks – in other words, this wasn't really "work".
Pierre-Louis Mascia is a designer who I discovered in my early days of coming to Pitti Uomo and remains one of those under-the-radar printists whose work impresses upon first touch and feel. His prints have a knack for mixing the classic with the unexpected, taking careful consideration with colour combinations and even more care with the fabric choices. Every season, his stand at the Pitti Uomo is where you can feel the softest jerseys, silks and now nylons. Yes, even nylon can be soft and for S/S 13, his apparel and accessories offerings has utilised a very fine Japanese nylon that feels like silk to touch but is unbelievably light and airy. Mascia has created a windbreaker, kagoul type jacket using this nylon, with about six print stories running through the collection that is defiantly unisex and quite possibly the most useful item of clothing to scrunch up in your bag for British weather. I find it hard to believe that there isn't a PLM print for everyone as his print combos range from the subtle and understated to the loud and attention-grabbing. I'm veering towards the latter of course with this season's mixes of yellow, purple and turquoise and rose print getting my vote. As per the last few seasons, cushions, quilts and towels form quite a formidable home range, which I'm surprised Liberty hasn't picked up yet. They're not afterthought products as once again Mascia has come up with the most luxurious materials to befit the prints. I can attest to that as I did my fair share of lounging about on the grass, feeling up the cushions and towels.
This is the man himself, illustrated with his scarf that probably consists of about ten different patterns and colours yet you wouldn't think he had gone over the top, no? It's a skillful knack that Mascia has mastered and one that makes you want any bit of PLM action you can get be it a simple scarf around your neck or a giant tower of cushions in your home.