MILAN–Like an image plucked from a pre-war edition of Esquire magazine, Gianni Cerutti, a regular at the Pitti Uomo mens fashion tradeshow, makes heads turn when he struts by with his voluminous paisley, silk handkerchiefs, his puckered shouldered, double-breasted blazers and his signature vintage ties.
I first spotted 27-year-old Cerutti at Florence last June and was quick to capture his trend-setting old school sartorial style – it’s catching on.
Cerutti, owner and designer of Passaggio Cravatte, a company that makes ties with antique and vintage silks, will be at the 87th editon of Pitti Uomo, which will run from January 13 to January 16 at Florence’s Fortezza da Basso. In tandem with the fair, international photographer Silio Danti will be hosting an event “Delve into Fashion” in honor of Cerutti, as well as made-to-measure womens wear designer Giusy Forte, at Florence’s Rivalta Cafe on January 14.
Cerutti’s bespoke, vintage style is currently being embraced more and more by the 20 to 40 set from here to Brazzaville, Congo.
And with the made-to-measure craze in full upswing, young men are taking an interest in the fine details from the past like never before.
In Milan, Gianfrancesco Musella fashions his friends with his signature double breasted suits that embrace the torso in a fitted, confident fashion reminiscent of Italy’s pre-war glory days.
Fabrics are also being exhumed from the bargain basement and acquired through private clubs and resurrected through today’s mens fashions. Whether they are auctioned or found at a silk factory closing blowout sales, fabrics from the 1930’s and 40’s are an increasingly a hot commodity in Italy’s sartorial world. Some tailors acquire through private clubs like the London Lounge for example that has close ties to the Lovat fabric mill in Scotland and Fox in England.
Tailors and artisans insist that clients are keen to pay double the price of a suit or tie to have looks crafted with vintage fabrics despite the fact that the older, wool materials are made with heavier, stiffer fibers.
Italy’s largest textile makers, however, insist that fabrics from the pre-war era are physically too heavy for the modern world. Wool mill Vitale Barberis Canonico, which celebrated its 350th birthday last year, has about 2000 samples of old fabrics in its “Vintage Collection” that it reproduces in massive quantities made with microns or wool diameter of 17.5 (the average is 24). To put the vintage craze into perspective, the grey prunelle the company first sold in 1663 for example, is still its top seller.
We will continue to follow this trend at Pitti Uomo, an event that unites the best in the world’s mens fashion scene. More importantly for BACO, Pitti is also a launching pad for new, emerging designers and a showcase of the talented artisans and style purveyors that we adore. Stay tuned!