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Gherardini x Ariel Pink Pitti Uomo 2015
Photography by Amelia Karlsen

Ariel Pink brings his LA freak scene to Pitti Uomo

Cali’s king of lo-fi shows that opposites attract as he performs at Italian luxury brand Gherardini’s Secret Garden Party in Florence

Gherardini is a label that exudes traditional values. Since its conception in 1885, the Florence-based leather brand has embraced history in order to create women’s bags and accessories that are elegant, refined, and strictly Italian. But this nostalgia does not breed complacency – far from it. 

Coinciding with its 130th anniversary and the 88th Pitti Uomo, the Florentine fashion house has launched Mr. Gherardini, its inaugural menswear collection. While maintaining its strong relationship with the past in regards to design and its continued Made-in-Italy ethics, Mr. Gherardini is tailored for the archetypal 21st century man: attentive, sophisticated, and dynamic.

To celebrate this debut and having made it to the big 1-3-0, on June 18 Gherardini brought this conflation of old and new to life, hosting a party in the gardens of Serre Torrigiani with psych–pop’s very own enfant terrible, Ariel Pink.

As Pink and his band emerged (one in hot-pants, one in a niqab, one in a bikini – cf. every stag ever) confusion was tangible both on stage and off. In a scene less like the debauchery of Secret Garden Party, more the pinafores of The Secret Garden, Pink sat awkwardly with nothing to say but “I like all the plants…” Drummer Don Bolles went for, “It’s like a really nice painting…”

But as Pink sprung up for the opening track, any confusion subsided, and the worlds of Florentine tradition and hallucinatory psych-pop collided. Against a backdrop of Gherardini animations, Pink and co. run through tracks from last year’s Pom pom, dragging the topiary and paved walkways of Serre Torrigiani further down the rabbit hole with favourites “Lipstick”, “White Freckles” and “Jell-o”. The high-octane performance reached its zenith with “Black Ballerina”, the lo-fi tale of a child visiting a strip club with his granddad, for which Bolles strutted from his drum-kit wearing a bikini, cowboy hat, and knee-high boots like a Lynchian Nancy Sinatra.

As with Mr. Gherardini’s fusion of contemporary and traditional style, this was a meeting of opposing cultures, but as we are so often reminded, opposites always attract.

Visit the Gherardini Facebook page to keep updated on future events