All the world loves the Italian fashion and its extravagant, unique and luxury style! But what it is the recipe behind the success of the Italian fashion, what is the secret!?
Some belief is innate in the nature and soul of Italian people, others think it is a due to the tradition built up over centuries and passed down through generations. But for Borgonovo (stylist and one-time Milan resident) there’s one critical reason about the talent of Italians for fashion: ‘The key to their impeccable chic is they never look as if they are trying too hard. They achieve a perfect balance between constraint and sophistication.’
Stanfill (curator of the V&A exhibition) points to the quintessentially Italian custom of the passeggiata that she observed when she lived in Florence. The daily ritual of the early-evening stroll or promenade is embedded in Italian society, and self confidence is intrinsic. “It’s a kind of street theatre, there is an element of posing,” she says. It’s a way to see and be seen, according to Stanfill, and its participants are always groomed, well dressed, completely pulled together − to fare la bella figura, to make a good impression or cut a dash is fundamental to the Italian image.
However, all the foreign people who spent some time in Italy for leisure or work report that fashion is everywhere. Walking down the streets of Milan and Rome, you can see shop after shop with beautiful window displays of perfectly displayed shoes, handbags, jewellery, etc.
There are many common features about Italian style between women and men. Men in Italy (not all, of course, but enough to make an impression) reflect fashion in a few ways. First, they’re not afraid of colours.
Second, Italian men pull off a timeless fashion even into their old age. Trousers, nice hats, basic dark coats…Italian men show that classic style needn’t be hard. I’d guess it’s about buying quality items that they can wear for years and years.
Third, it’s the little details, like that Italian men wear scarves. And when they maybe don’t have a beautiful outfit put together, they can pull off something decent by wearing dark colors.
The nation’s trademark swagger goes hand in hand with its long tradition of craftsmanship. In the financial district of Milan the men are meticulously turned out in their bespoke, immaculately tailored, silk-lined suits, carefully coordinated soft-leather belts and shoes, silk pocket squares and ties. And in Italian tailoring there are many regional variations of detail. Italian tailoring has reached worldwide status over the past half century.
It’s certainly true that the Made in Italy label is still sought after worldwide, particularly in the past two decades. As Sicilian designer Fausto Puglisi tells BBC Culture: “Italian craftsmanship is totally unmatchable. And in Italy it is something that is extremely connected to society − people don’t just do it for the money, they do it because they love it.” Tuscany, for instance, is the region to go for leatherwork, he says. “It’s amazing: they treat leather like silk.”
So what does glamour mean today to the everyday lives of Italians? Glamour is something deeply attractive, something strong related to beauty. Stile and beauty are part of Italians’ everyday life and this is definitely represented by the gorgeous example of sculpture, painting and architecture present everywhere in Italy.
Maybe this is the secrets behind the success of Italian fashion..?