Do It With Flare

Charlie Teasdale
·3 min read
Photo credit: Tod's
Photo credit: Tod's

From Esquire

Milan doesn’t always get the praise it deserves. Its most common descriptor is ‘industrial’, but any city would look industrial compared to Rome or Venice or Naples. But what Milan might lack in gobsmacking architecture, it makes up for with style. There’s a retro chicness to Milan – just look at the Paninaros; kids in the Eighties that combined the precision and swagger of classic Italian style with preppy Americana and bold, continental sportswear. Their energy remains in the city and the brands that call it home – Prada Linea Rossa, Emporio Armani, Stone Island – but it would seem that some of the city’s more storied tailoring brands are looking at the decade before as inspiration for their latest collections.

At Tod’s, new creative director Walter Chiapponi has created a collection for a fictitious Seventies rake who wanders the land of his sprawling estate in a series of gleefully big coats and heeled boots. The wide lapels, flares and dusty suedes of a Seventies-inspired collection are all present, but Chiapponi has shrewdly narrowed his gaze to the hypothetical wardrobe of a country gent. The collection is replete with hunting jackets, tweed tailoring, corduroy and even a pair of wellington boots. But though the vibe is ‘landed gentry’, there is still plenty of glamour – our man will need to come to town at some point, after all.

Photo credit: Canali
Photo credit: Canali

Having recently defined its product offering into three distinct but interwoven collections (1934, Exclusive and Black Edition), Canali has unified them under a Seventies banner for A/W’21. For 1934, the decade inspires the details; see the general palette of warm, rich colours, see the beige houndstooth and the burgundy suede and the leather detailing on belted outerwear. In Exclusive, the Seventies-ness is found in the styling, with roll-neck knitwear layered beneath shawl collar tailoring and off-the-shoulder overcoats. In Black Edition, Canali’s sportier, more technically-minded collection, we’re presented with fur collar gilets, fair isle knitwear and the kind of block colours we associate with sportswear of the age. Think James Hunt, Jean-Claude Killy and Arthur Ashe.

Photo credit: ALISTAIR TAYLOR-YOUNG
Photo credit: ALISTAIR TAYLOR-YOUNG

Now whereas Tod’s and Canali have expressed their marked intention to emulate Seventies chic, Brunello Cucinelli has done it less directly. (And yes, Brunello is based in Solomeo, not Milan, but let’s not let simple geography discount the king of cashmere!) The brand is already famous (nay, iconic) for its plush, neutrally-shaded fabrics, but A/W’21 sees an abundance of Seventies colour in Bordeaux, ‘bonfire’ and sage. In terms of Seventies shapes, at Brunello they are more present in the casual wear than the suiting. See the hiking boots, the quilted down jackets (some of which have a cashmere shell) and chunky cable knitwear.

Of course, not all of the Milanese (or Solomean) menswear brands have looked to the Seventies for mood board material – Massimo Alba, for example, has clearly turned his gaze to the Nineties for his new collection – but if they are seeing the decade as a source for latter day style, then we’d be mad not to pay heed.

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more delivered straight to your inbox

SIGN UP

Need some positivity right now? Subscribe to Esquire now for a hit of style, fitness, culture and advice from the experts

SUBSCRIBE

You Might Also Like