I have recently been watching the runway shows for autumn/winter in Europe. With a few exceptions, I found them to be a little excessive to appeal to a wide audience. So it was a relief to visit Florence last week to see the gorgeous and wearable spring fashion styles in the shop windows.
My first stop in Florence is Caffe Giacosa for a coffee and delicious pastry to start my day.
The cafe belongs to Roberto Cavalli and his shop is next door. His window was full of pretty florals…perfect for spring.
I tell all my friends who visit Florence that they must visit the Max Mara shop in Via Tornabuoni. The shop itself is beautiful. It was once a bookshop and the lovely old shelves have been converted to hold stunning accessories. There are also pretty frescoes which were uncovered during renovations.
I also think that Max Mara produces the most thoughtfully designed clothes. They are beautifully made from exquisite fabrics, the styling is classic in the best sense of the word and the prices are affordable…the perfect souvenir to take home. They also do great windows.
Dolce & Gabbana is one of my favourite designer labels. The Sicilian heritage of the designers is obvious, their clothes are unashamedly and flamboyantly Italian. Bright colours and lavish decoration abound. The window was a little subdued, but I could see bolder styles inside. I look forward to seeing more summer delights arrive…things to covet and collect.
Emilio Pucci is also famous for bold prints, but in the window were black and white beach outfits. I love the black hat, it would certainly provide plenty of shade.
The Gucci window was bright and colourful but I found the clothes a little fussy for my personal taste.
The Gucci handbags are heavily embroidered. All this work makes it more difficult for cheaper brands to imitate. These are proper Gucci bags.
In a nearby shop was this much less expensive handbag. The influences are similar. I think it is great that that there is interesting fashion available in different price ranges. It is also good to see an interpretation rather than a direct copy of iconic designers.
Patrizia Pepe is a Florentine chain that offers excellent fashion at a low price.
Finally a trend that might not suit everyone…socks worn with heels.
All we need now are some warm days and somewhere to wear the new season’s fashion!
Debra Kolkka writes two blogs, Bagni di Lucca and Beyond and Bella Bagni di Lucca. With a background in fashion, this Australian splits her life between her home country and her beloved Italy, enjoying the best of both worlds. You can find Debra on her blogs.
Concierge Tip: After an active day of shopping, enjoy an indulgent dinner of typical Tuscan cuisine in Florence at our Guelfi e Ghibellini Restaurant in the unique Relais Santa Croce where you can experience a stay steeped in history inside a luxuriously-converted 18th century palazzo.