Firenze4Ever 2012

Presented by Luisa Via Roma
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Last week Clash's fashion team were invited to attend Firenze 4 Ever, the bi-annual style event curated by luxury online retailer Luisa Via Roma, held at their flagship store in Florence, a stone's throw away from the Duomo no less.

Now in its fourth season, this year's Firenze 4 Ever outstretched the invite to music bloggers, having previously centred solely on fashion blogs. Partnering up with the likes of Shini Park (the South Korean born, London based by way of Poland fashionista behind Park & Cube) and the notorious Bryan Boy, (he of Marc Jacobs BFF fame), were established music bloggers such as Discobelle and Polaroid (two Swedes and an Italian, respectively). This new addition saw four 'sittings' of fashion's favourite girls and guys style up to three looks-using the brand spanking new season stock piled up high in the three storey space-which was later awarded a playlist selected by the music heads; Clash was lucky enough to try its hand at both.

A second addition to the mix for 2012 was the 'Pugs For Happy Kids' initiative, in which 20 designers dressed up a toy dog (for lack of better words) in association with plush toy brand Steiff. The exclusive dogs were then displayed around the store, and each blogger asked to 'adopt' their favourite pup; Clash went for the bedazzling Manish Arora pug. Photographed in-store with their owner, bigged up on the blog, the dogs will later be auctioned off with all the proceeds going to the charity Unicef. Flown out on Thursday morning ready for the evening's aperitivo in-store (with a few hours in-between to sample the first pizza of the trip and set our sites on the Arno, of course), we were later ushered into a bright shop space complete with Legally-Blonde-pink carpet (in preparation for Saturday's party). Drinks were politely sipped surrounded by flashing cameras and faces we'd spied online the night before tottered past in the highest of heels.

Friday was the first day of the so-called 'Style Lab' and saw the first two groups of designer waving punters eagerly eye up the rails of clothes before them, pulling at those pieces that took their fancy. With a wide range of designers available and a floor each given to womenswear, menswear and street wear, there was an overwhelming opportunity to be inventive; Clash took a liking to some Rick Owens, Jil Sander, Givenchy and a pair Underground creepers, fyi.

The 'Music Lab' saw the bespectacled boys play DJ, on their laptops at least, as they chose the music best to represent each look. A three course meal in a nearby church followed, with a dreamy spread that saw a thousand candles across three large tables. This being a bloggers do an' all, iPhones, Blackberry's and the odd DSLR were all brought out to capture the (possibly) Baz Luhrmann inspired moment (head over to Twitter if you missed it, where @clash_fashion played their part in the crowd and caught it on camera).

Day two saw more of the same, with the last two groups given their model and photographer, choose their pieces and get their hair and make-up done by Aveda and MAC, who were on hand throughout proceedings to cater to our every beauty need. Night fall saw the event's highlight with the arrival of the Pink Carpet Party, a theme which Clash and our cohorts forgot, turning up in head to toe black. Joined by new faces, many of whom had stuck to the theme in wigs and pink frocks, the heaving store served up pink champagne in pink glasses while model's lined the entrance in especially made pink dresses.

With the bar upstairs, the ground level became a gig space as Joan As Police Woman and her band took to the floor. Treated to a half hour set by the Connecticut musician, Joan Wasser played a helping of tracks from last year's 'Deep Field' LP, such as the smooth but dark 'Chemmie'. The evening's official finale came in the form of Mr. James Lavelle doing his thing on the decks, before many a partygoer headed out in a bid to continue the party. A Sunday morning brunch at The Savoy made sure that sore heads got looked after and gave everyone the chance to say goodbye before flying back to their various blogging caves. For Clash, half eleven became two o'clock and finally we left our smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for one last photo of the Duomo.

To see the photos, watch the videos and listen to the playlists, head over to www.luisaviaroma.com.

Words by Zoe Whitfield

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