A minor heart attack, followed by wayward, trippy motocross boys who moonlight as skaters and defy death in t-shirts shouting 'muerte' with a strikethrough. The show kicked off with an insane motocross show that had riders somersaulting into the strobe-lit night sky over a massive ramp in the middle of the circular Parterre in Florence. Once the clothes hit the turf to a thumping soundtrack in the open-air venue, you felt like the street-cast boys with their long braids were part of some secret badass gang. Graphic streetwear pieces were scribbled in mystical symbols and snakes and laced with protective gear, padded pieces and menacing masks. Burlon – a polymath and Dazed contributor whose CV also lists PR, event planning, DJing and songwriting – definitely closed Pitti on a high note.
As LC:M wrapped earlier this week, it felt like London’s designers were working towards an idea of belonging – to a group, a collective, an idea – and Burlon seemed to play to this notion as well. And while his gang of mask-wearing boys were pretty much at the opposite end of the genteel, modern tailoring that is at the heart of Pitti and its immense menswear legacy, Burlon was in some ways speaking a similar language to Pitti’s musters of peacocks who all wear almost identical three-piece suits and panama hats with two cigarettes tucked into the band. Whether you’re a kid in streetwear or a fifty-something gentleman in brogues, menswear seems to be exploring the idea of finding and enhancing your own identity through a collective army of strong uniformity.
“My father worked in racing and motocross is an aesthetic that I’ve always loved. It’s so sexy and it felt fresh. And then I met these Italian motocross riders and we were hanging out for a while and were like ‘we should do something together’. This was the perfect moment. Everyone who walked the show tonight is family. They’re all my friends. I’ve been working in parties and events for so long and I’ve kind of built up a big community around the world. People came from New York, Berlin, Paris to walk this.” – Marcelo Burlon.