Cancel Your Trip, Brunello Cucinelli’s Exclusive Collection Brings Italian Summer To You
Some brands treat summer as an opportunity to push the boat out and stretch the boundaries of taste. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not shy of a little sartorial experimentation when the mood takes us. But it’s easy to overstep the mark.
As a company based in the UK, we know all too well what the sun can do. Once the clouds part and the temperature nudges above 20°C, some folk take leave of their senses. And their shirts. And so it is in the world of fashion, too. Summer means wild abandon – more flesh, more colour, less subtlety.
While there may be a time and a place for such things, we are taking a moment today to appreciate a brand that knows how to keep its head in the heat. In fact, looking at this exclusive collection made for MR PORTER, you could say it is tailor-made for long, summer days. Admittedly, Brunello Cucinelli does have the upper hand on this front.
Firstly, they are Italian, so they are automatically 59 per cent more sophisticated than most (never mind us sunburnt, under-clothed Brits). But they are also based in Solomeo, a medieval hamlet in Umbria – a distant 450km from the flashy fashion capital of Milan. As you might expect, they do things a little differently there. They identify with a gentler pace of life. This is reflected in the slow fashion ethos of the brand, and the sustainable values it embodies, and is seen through in the considered craftsmanship of its clothes.
Perhaps it’s just the genes of the country, maybe it’s the idyllic surrounds, or perhaps it’s got something to do with the caramel-hued stone that defines Solomeo – filaretto, to give its local name – that seems to absorb the sun’s heat and bathe everything in a hazy glow.
It is particularly evident, we think, in this capsule collection, which the Brunello Cucinelli design team made just for us. (Did we mention that you can’t buy these clothes anywhere else?). The images were not shot in Solomeo, mind. We took the clothes about 600km south to Puglia – a popular holiday spot for Italians – and you can see a similar seasonal warmth coming through in these shots (that’s Lecce stone you can see there, geology fans).
If we weren’t dreaming of long, languorous summer days before, we certainly are now. But enough about stone; what of the clothes? Pictured here is possibly the most summery (and sporty) leather jacket we have ever seen. If you were not previously convinced that a leather jacket could sit so comfortably in the sun, we trust that this changes your mind. Stone-coloured, supple and lightweight, it is teamed here with a pair of what we want to call combat trousers, but are probably too elegant for that military label. A sky-blue T-shirt (tucked into the trousers if you want a smarter feel) introduces a pop of colour that ties the whole outfit together.
If you’re heading out on a summer’s evening (yes, we can do that now) you might want to turn things up a notch and give off a dressier vibe. A crisp white shirt is always a sophisticated choice, and here Brunello Cucinelli proves that it remains so even without sleeves. What if you need something a little more practical? Whether you’re navigating the rocky terrain of Puglia or sauntering down to your local for an (outside) beer, a sporty gilet is always your friend, especially in less sultry climates, where a chill inevitably descends whenever the sun ducks behind a cloud.
If you skew a little more classic when it comes to your wardrobe, try a sky-blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a sweatshirt tied round the waist (if you’re traditional at heart, you’re probably a man who doesn’t take risks either) and some beige shorts. Again, this is a colour palette made for an Italian summer.
By contrast, the last look here is catering to the carefree man who is happy to pair some swim shorts with a khaki shirt and has the confidence to pull it off. Especially if there’s a body of water nearby. And especially when the swim shorts are printed and designed so well that they are made to be seen as well as submerged. They may look too good to get wet, but rest assured they are for swimming as well as posing.
After our styling team put this collection together in these looks, we realised that it does far more than celebrate summer. It complements the personality, we think, of any man with more than a passing interest in considered style. Wherever you find yourself in the coming months, then, and whatever the remaining restrictions on your vacation plans, a quaint Italian summer needn’t be out of reach with this transportive collection from Brunello Cucinelli. Now more than ever, it’s time to make a splash.