Brooks Brothers FW18.
(Photo:prom dress shops)

The fashion world is currently focused on all things men, with the London menswear shows down, Milan just finished and Paris starting today. And while your peripatetic Buzz will be getting among the action in the City of Light, there are still some things to reflect on from her last week in Florence.

Against the backdrop of the Pitti Uomo trade fair, US heritage brand Brooks Brothers celebrated its 200th anniversary, making it, we’re told, America’s oldest retailer.

In an industry where making it to 10 years is cause for celebration, it’s no wonder that they pulled out all the stops for this festa.

The catwalk show was held in the Palazzo Vecchio’s ornate Salone dei Cinquecento; if Buzz has learned anything in her time covering international fashion events, it’s that gaining access to venues such as this is a huge part of the appeal.

To a live soundtrack of Alicia Keys’s Empire State of Mind performed by 53 members of the Italian Philharmonic, models emerged onstage before doing their circuit of the room with its backdrop of Renaissance frescoes.

Among the men’s looks were a handful of women’s styles designed by Zac Posen, a thoroughly charming gentleman if Buzz has ever met one. The men’s looks were a mix of preppy casual through to eveningwear and new takes on the tux.

Following the show, a small group was invited to dinner upstairs. Regular readers will be aware that if Buzz loves anything more than fashion, it’s food. And let it be on the record that the potato and ricotta gnocchi with black truffle and aged parmesan was one of the single finest dishes of squishy deliciousness that Buzz has ever sampled. E’ vero.

Another major event in Florence was the launch of Gucci Garden in the Palazzo della Mercanzia on the Piazza della Signoria, a quite unique concept for a fashion house.

Creative director Alessandro Michele has certainly shaken things up at Gucci since he took over two years ago, and this is one more example of his broad approach to fashion and creativity, aided by curator Maria Luisa Frisa.

The exhibition sits across two floors, and is a mix of commissioned contemporary art by Jayde Fish, Trevor Andrew (aka GucciGhost) and Coco Capitan, and archival fashion, accessories and ephemera from Gucci’s nine-decade history mixed with contemporary pieces from Michele’s first years in situ.

The ground floor is a unique retail experience, boasting items available only at this location, from scented candles, stationery and homeware to fashion and accessories, including one-off pieces. But be warned, the price tags are indigestion-inducing. I plumped for eating like a gourmand for a week (resulting in further plumping) over bringing home one of those candles.

Back at home, and back to menswear, it appears that luxury brands are banking on the gentrification of the Australian gent. From today in Sydney’s Bondi Junction Westfield, Louis Vuitton opens its menswear pop-up featuring the latest spring-summer collection from designer Kim Jones.

As well as ready-to-wear, it will also house accessories including surfboards. How very appropriate to market. This is their second such exercise, after a similar offering in late 2016 in the Sydney CBD, for which the designer himself made the trip. The pop-up is open until February 4.Read more at:formal dresses uk