A short insight into Italian fashion leaders, style and vogue as it relates to today's world. The rich culture laid down by Italian designers throughout the centuries reveal how clothing affects everything in our everyday lives from our moods, to status perception, to careers and even attracting a mate.
REINVENTING THE VEST
Recently I was watching a RAI news segment featuring the long check-in lines at Rome's Fiumicino airport. As passengers embarked on their ferragosto, or month long August holidays it resembled a fashion show, with expensive designer sunglasses and clothing that many people in the States would consider too nice to wear for traveling. Some even posed vogue-like for the camera.
It exemplifies the Italian way of life that you always need to look good no matter what the situation. To many Italians, the terrible European economic downturn is worrisome, but hey, we have to go to the beach and we need to look fabulous.
This laissez-faire attitude is reflected in the fall/winter collections of many designers with a big emphasis on power dressing and especially in vests. Vests are everywhere, not just under suits but also with sports jackets or as an accent piece with a casual outfit.
The impetus of this new fashion trend is surprisingly a younger audience, the 26-40 year olds who have rediscovered dressing up and have embraced it from a fashion standpoint, with an eye to career clothing. With the job market at a premium, it's very advantageous to be more presentable than your peers. Additionally, younger business people want to dress the way professionals used to dress decades ago. It's an edge and if it worked then; it definitely will work now. They are also more tech-savvy and more traveled, preferring styles that they see in New York, Europe or on their iPhone--it's instant verification that, yes, I can wear this.
Fabric choices this fall will show a very English edge, which has been popular for years in Italy, but with an Italian twist. Heavy English flannels have been reworked by Italian mills into lightweight, softer finishes that are more travel friendly and with an all year round feel. Italian cloth mills like Vitale Barberis and Guabello near Biella have Italianized English fabrics to the point that English mills are now copying these innovative methods just to be competitive in the market. It's not uncommon now to see classic checks in an Italian trim cut suit.
So what is in this fall?
IN: Suits are seriously back in style, no matter what you read or see around. Very trim cut and soft shoulder.
IN: Three piece suits with 5 or 6 button front vests with an occasional lapel for a more fashionable look.
OUT: 3 button suitsâ¦donate them.
IN: For suits we are seeing a return of black on black patterns, very chic and very formal. Navy, charcoal or brown checks in lightweight flannel finishes.
IN: For casual jackets look for large checks in hues of chocolate or dark navy. Solid colors in heavy cottons.
IN: Casual jackets in a very soft, unstructured (meaning no padding in the shoulders and very little lining inside) yet a very trim, almost shirt-like cut. Can be worn with dress jeans or dress pants.
OUT: Padded boxier cut shoulders and looser cut waistâ¦.buttale via!
OUT: 3 button jacketsâ¦donate them.
IN: Although pleats are making a comeback on the runways in Italy, flat front is still the dominant cut for pants here. If you want a little more room, have your pants made roomier or ask your tailor to make you a single Euro pleat.
OUT: The baggy pleated pants are out, however, not everyone's body shape can accommodate flat fronts, so ask an expert which style is right for you.
Style is like business. Be a leader not a follower.