When the curtain rose on La Dolce Vita in 1960, Marcello Mastroianni’s star was immediately cemented, as was his reputation for closely cut suits and immaculate tuxedos (for which the film’s costumer designer Piero Gherardi won an Academy Award).
Today, Mastroianni represents for many a long-gone era of men dressing properly (see also: John F Kennedy, Steve McQueen and their ilk). It’s an erudite air which has, over the decades, given way to an altogether more relaxed dress code. A jacket and tie are now surplus to requirements in many offices, with legions of men owning just a solitary black suit for weddings, funerals and little in between.
In part this is a democratisation. Tailoring – especially that of the Savile Row variety – can be elitist, not to mention restrictive. Given the choice, a pair of drawstring trousers and a sweatshirt represent a much more enticing choice for the daily nine-to-five.
And yet, as with all things sartorial, the wheel has begun to turn full circle. Tailoring is returning to the zeitgeist, albeit with a new relaxed air. Much in the spirit of Mastroianni, this new suiting is all about exacting cuts and superlative construction, but with new concessions to comfort. At the forefront of this movement are a few extremely talented Italian designers, from whom we’ve chosen three key pieces.
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