The Luxurious Details That Give Your Outfit Bragging Rights
As you may have already heard, our new Italian Masters capsule – made up of exclusive pieces from 25 brands – is founded on the art of craftsmanship. So, we would be doing the artisans who have contributed to the collection a disservice were we not to give them the time and attention their work deserves. These are all investment pieces, created with craft, skill and using time-honoured processes that will ensure you a return, in terms of wearability, durability and, for example, if you plan to pass a beloved piece on to your own children. Below, we highlight some of our favourite pieces from the Italian Masters collection and hone in on the details that make them worthy of inclusion in our capsule.
This may look like an everyday cardholder – albeit a very smart one – but it also happens to be made by Valextra, which was founded in 1937 and is known for its exemplary leather goods. Look closer and you will note the edges, which are finished by hand using sandpaper and then treated with three coats of Costa lacquer, a special formulation unique to Valextra. Small leather items such as this also undergo encre de Chine ink pyrography to ensure an extra flourish and finesse. Still not convinced? Consult the unique digits inside each cardholder and connect with the artisan who crafted it.
If craftsmanship goes hand in glove with tradition, then look no further than Pineider, a purveyor of the finest artisanal stationery and writing implements. The company was founded in 1774 in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria and has gone on to collaborate with craftsmen in Tuscany. To really see the brand’s heritage at work, however, you need to take a look at one of its products. This elegant Milano Stationery Set comes with hand-coloured borders on its envelopes, sheets and cards. Now that’s attention to detail.
L.G.R was founded after its owner, Mr Luca Gnecchi Ruscone, discovered a box of vintage sunglasses in his grandfather’s optical store. For the Italian Masters collection, Mr Gnecchi Ruscone has created these Asmara Explorer aviator-style sunglasses, made from hand-polished Italian cellulose acetate. The gold lettering is usually applied by lasers, but in this case it is done by hand, which involves heating brass characters that go through a golden foil and end up embossing the logo inside the temples.
04. Missoni Home
Have you ever put on a Missoni knit and wondered what it might be like to furnish your home with these inimitable patterns? Just one look at this handwoven Riohacha Striped Jacquard Rug by Missoni Home makes us want to completely redo our interiors. The jacquard technique utilises the basic method of weaving by passing weft (horizontal) threads over and under warp (vertical) threads to build a crisscross network. However, it also uses predetermined weave patterns and multiple coloured threads at once to build an intricate design with subtle texture, leaving you with the almost tapestry-like finish you can see here.
The family-run Naples-based brand E.MARINELLA makes ties using silk that’s washed in water from a centuries-old mineral-rich lake, for a unique sheen you just won’t get with a machine. Its ties are silk-screen printed by hand and then heated with steam to set the colours, before being softened with machines that have been used for hundreds of years to “tap” the silk. When you wear this silk-twill floral-print tie, you will be adding tradition and craft to your outfit.
06. Massimo Alba
If you want to know how far the skilled artisans featured in our Italian Masters collection will go to produce pieces that are truly unique and investment-worthy, this cashmere sweater by Massimo Alba should answer your question. The cashmere is tie-dyed with pigment colours before being brushed with teasels – dried thistles – to give the garment its remarkable softness.
07. De Petrillo
For a cut above, with a craftsman’s touch, we refer you to a gentleman who has been honing his skills in the tailoring industry for more than 30 years. Mr Benedetto De Petrillo’s eponymous brand is renowned for its suits, but the bomber jackets, made with the same level of detail synonymous with Neapolitan tailoring, are also well worth a look. Unlined so you can appreciate its perfect construction, this striking checked linen bomber features hand-made buttons, which are not coming off anytime soon.
A green field jacket is often considered a rough-and-ready piece to be thrown on before an outdoor adventure. But in the spirit of craftsmanship, we bring you Valstar’s exemplary version: made in suede, the jacket has undergone a tanning process that dates to the Stone Age. The jacket is dyed inside barrels and gently greased with animal and vegetable oils to give it softness and fullness. There are over 15 different phases to the process, but the most important and delicate treatments are the cleansing of the skins, the dyeing phase and the subsequent drying. It brings a whole new meaning to the term “workwear”.