Style Sheet: The Secrets of Italian Style
Is there a lifestyle and attitude that should be envied more than that of the Italians?
The relaxed and easy elegance of Italian fashion embodies their passion for life and love for beauty. Their attitude to dressing is to be admired, and there are important style tricks to take from the Italians that will help you individualize your look. Unbuttoned cuffs on a suit to demonstrate it is bespoke, cuffed jeans, a gentleman’s shirt cuffs undone to showcase bracelets, casually but carefully rolled sleeves…the list is endless.
It’s an easy mistake to make, thinking that Italian fashion is all bright colors or outlandish designs. There’s definitely an element of this, but the detail – and small tricks to personalize the way items are worn – are an important part of the signature Italian style.
The very finest leather, exceptional craftsmanship and cleverly cut pieces all contribute to what an Italian values when they are selecting a piece to wear. Here we celebrate our favorite Italian designers and their latest creations which push boundaries with style.
Tod’s Double T collection is one of our favourites because of its simple elegance – and the brand’s philosophy. Fine craftsmanship is evident in the iconic detailing of each piece. Notice the neutral mix of muted colors – dusty pink, rich cream and tan – these accessories complement and enrich the wearer’s ensemble without highjacking the look. It doesn’t hurt that the loafers are handmade in Italy from the very softest and best quality leather available.
Giuseppe Zanotti is one of Italy’s favorite shoe designers, and continues to push boundaries with each new season. His 2017 Fall collection, as worn by Bella Hadid, merges a contemporary shape with a classic pin heel on a peep toe bootie. Plumes of pale pink ostrich feather against the smooth satin body ooze a sense of luxury and the laced front of the bootie is encrusted with crystals. Make like Bella and either let this shoe take the lead by wearing a simple black ensemble, or lighten your wardrobe’s palette by wearing sand, white and nude pieces.
Bottega Veneta prides itself of creating pieces that are exquisite, yet functional. Look no further than this dusty pink ensemble from the designer’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection for the perfect example. The tailored piece showcases functionality, but what speaks more loudly is the easy elegance and femininity of it. A flattering silhouette is created with the nipped-in waistline – note the designer has rolled the ankles and pushed back the sleeves for a relaxed look. This is an easy trick to bring to your own dressing style – it shows a level of individuality, and that you’re at ease in your clothes.
Prada’s 2018 Resort collection has hit the runway, and the accessories did not miss our keen fashion eye. This clutch from Prada is the ultimate accessory for the lady who lunches in Italy. The cream and black palette is decorated with artwork intricate enough to start a conversation over lunch, while the craftsmanship shows this is no throw-away piece. The calla lily wrist strap is our favorite detail.
Dolce & Gabbana have long been Italian fashion ambassadors with their flair for color, bold prints and all-round fabulousness. Their pieces embody the romance and passion of the Italian culture, and this ensemble (and the rest of their Spring Summer campaign) shows how they mix the casual with couture.
A bold print is embraced with a matching of the headpiece and dress. The dress is elegant and demure with its long sleeves and below-the-knee hemline, yet exudes sensuality with clever tailoring that flatters the silhouette and hugs the body. The ensemble would look fantastic paired with a classic black heel, however here is juxtaposed with sneakers and rockstar accessories, and takes the look to a whole new level.
Armani’s Spring 2017 collection features lightweight frames, that have equally stylish his-and-hers options are an item we predict will be disappearing fast from boutiques. The bold black and red combination is typical of Italian style – embracing color as an embellishment, while not forgetting the impact that classic black has. The perfect companion for afternoons sipping espressos and enjoying la dolce vita.
Roberto Cavalli is known and loved for his outlandish designs – he is no stranger to bold prints in wild colors. For the gentleman who prefers more subtle style statements, Cavalli has toned it down with this crisp white shirt embellished with trailing rose embroidery complete with the occasional sequin. The shirt is slim-fit, keeping it contemporary while letting personality and flair shine through. Shake it out of your suitcase for aperitif hour, and late-night dinners.
Much-loved footwear designer Giuseppe Zanotti has joined forces with Zayn Malik to create the Zanotti for Zayn line. We love the beautiful clash of high-end meets streetwear: the results are to die for. A luxe range of sneakers and boots that can be teamed with casual threads and still give an air of sophistication. The TAZ is a neat and comfortable sneaker with lateral zips and a saw-tooth sole – we love it for travelling and day trips.
Bruno Cucinelli embodies the casual elegance of the Italian man. This ensemble is typically stylish, combining a pair of seemingly worn, rolled up jeans with sneakers and a bomber jacket – and the magic is in the material. This is no ordinary bomber jacket, but a feature piece, cut from suede. A popped collar says style, while the large square pockets say functional: a beautifully masculine combination.