IT WAS A race against time to get across town from the Fendi show back to the Fortezza da Basso to catch the shuttle coach out of Florence and up into the hills for the Il Gufo event. With major amounts of traffic slowing our route for over an hour, we were beginning to wonder whether this was a wise choice. That is, until the coach pulled up in front of the stunning Villa Le Corti, with breathtaking view of the sun setting over Tuscan hills and countryside. The gravel path to the villa was lit by citronella candles, wafting gently in the breeze – and hopefully discouraging those pesky mosquitoes that are a hazard of the warmer climes.
We were treated to a prosecco punch and rose wine, while the waiters mingled with tasty morsels to stave off any hunger pangs. The sky was dark by the time the catwalk show began with a young dancer showcasing his robotic skills in a performance worthy of Italy's Got Talent. There followed a parade of nautical inspired looks in navy and white, with girls in pretty broderie Anglaise dresses with frills and bows, and boys in an array of blazers and donning geek chic spectacles. There were touches of Varsity stripes on cardigans and knits with hoods, alongside smart jackets and waistcoats.
There were more nautical touches as Eliza Doolittle chirped Pack Up Your Troubles, with a plethora of Breton stripes; red, white and blue dresses; shorts and tops with stripes and feather and bow coursages. The sporty look was also echoed in tartan trousers and checked shorts, as modelled by the cutest little chubby toddler, whose dawdling prompted one kind spectator to scoop him up and hurry him to the end of the catwalk.
The colour pallette drifted from nautical to soft greys mixed with pinks, and stripes mixed with polka dots for a stylish mash-up. There were stand-out dresses in block colours of orange/pink, yellow/white, and green/blue with neat frill details at the waist, as the girls sauntered down the catwalk to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit but done in Sinatra style by Paul Anka.
For the finale, a flotilla of white balloons, illuminated with tiny lights inside, were freed into the black sky and floated skyward before disappearing with a faint flicker. The evening of festivities continued with a delicious Italian fare and more vino, as well as a performance of contemporary dance-meets-the-Cirque-du-Soleil. As we finally departed into the night, we were given the beautiful cook book inspired by Il Gufo, entitled Mommy, Let's Cook, filled with delicious Italian recipes that will remind us of our wonderful evening. And of course, with children beautifully photographed, attired in Il Gufo clothes.