The Permanent Style Anniversary dinner – Permanent Style

Last November marked 15 years since the founding of Permanent Style. To celebrate the occasion, we planned two things: a personal dinner with friends in Florence and a more public event in the pop-up shop on Savile Row.

The public event, to which all are welcome, is next Tuesday, June 27th. Details here. Please do come along and grab a drink, shake hands and (if you feel like it) have a portrait taken by Jamie.

Last week during Pitti we held the dinner, in the beautiful Castello del Nero hotel outside Florence.

We weren’t lucky with the weather. For the first time in the 11 years I’ve been going, it rained during the summer. Light rain on that Tuesday; storms and heavy downpours on the Wednesday.

I think that might have put a bit of a dampener on the whole fair to be honest, but it didn’t affect us too much. It meant we couldn’t dine among the hotel’s olive groves, as originally planned, but we were in the wine cellar instead. It is the original cellar of a 12th century castle, so hard to complain.

The rain also held off for a beautiful half hour before dinner, when we were all on the pavilion looking down over the valley. The hotel owns all of it, from the woods on the far left to the private villa on the right, with vineyards, a separate smaller hotel, and those olive groves in between.

Everyone suddenly went quiet as the sun lanced across the valley, picking out the walls of the buildings perfectly, as if they’ve been set there just for the purpose of being viewed from the castle. (Which I guess, historically, they might have been.)

Then everyone came to and rejoiced in the sun, walking down the hill towards the groves, in amongst the kitchen garden, and down to the chicken coop at the bottom of the hill.

It’s at moments like these that you feel so grateful for doing what you do – being able to celebrate in a beautiful place with some of your favourite people. I’ve been to events in great locations before, but never with so many friends.

After another drink it was down to the cellar, which was small enough and low enough to create a great atmosphere. Even the serenading went down well, although by the end it was more shouting than singing from those at the table.

The dress code was ‘cocktail attire’, an area we’ve talked about before on PS, and it was interesting to see how these menswear people took to it.

There was far less black-tie-alternative, which made sense in the summer, outside. But everyone was in their own version of tailoring – the Rubato guys in knits under jackets, in typically restrained and elegant colours; Ethan in a predictably western-feeling jacket, trousers and tee; Paul Croughton and Manish holding up the smarter end of spectrum (Manish in particular taking credit for being the only person in a tie).

There was a preponderance of earth tones, if you stepped back. Some navy and cream, yes, but a lot of brown and beige in the tailoring – an effective way to make both jackets and suits feel more summery, less formal, and certainly less corporate. I also liked how Jake and Milad used orange/yellow in their shirts/knits.

In fact we should have done portraits of everyone: it would have been interesting to pick through it. Never mind, next time.

I have to say I was slightly disappointed with the style I saw around Pitti this summer. The clowns were still there (someone was wearing a straw-based suit, including top hat) and there was plenty that was standard (a cream linen suit with a panama, jeans with a western hat for workwear), but less that was both interesting and well-executed.

Seeing what other people are wearing is one of my favourite things about Pitti – probably my single favourite, because it really stimulates my own style. But I can’t help feeling a chunk of that used to come from the older buyers, some of whom aren’t around anymore.

Anyway, I refuse to end on a down note after such a lovely event. It was hilarious, intimate, and a perfect way to celebrate 15 years of PS. Thank you everyone that came, and particularly to Castello del Nero for their hospitality.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday, and completing the celebrations.

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