For centuries now, it has been quite clear that Italy lives and breathes style. From birthing the Renaissance to housing great influencers of the fashion world, such as Armani, Valentino, Versace, Gucci, and Prada – the country has long since been a pioneer of all things stylish.
No one does it quite like the Italians, and with Milan Fashion Week right around the corner, what better way to celebrate Italian style than with a brief look at what makes it so special, and how Artigiano takes great care to capture its essence in our collections.
How Do They Dress in Italy?
If you find yourself people watching on the beautiful streets of Rome or Milan, you’ll undoubtedly come across styles that are understated, sumptuous and completely chic. From exquisitely cut tailoring to supremely classic designs, Italian fashion oozes supreme luxury.
It is a style where details matter, texture is key and the whole is far often greater than the sum of its parts. There is an inherent lightness and ease in the way it all comes together.
The Italian word sprezzatura springs to mind.
Defined by Oxford as “studied carelessness,” sprezzatura deftly communicates the Italian approach to not only its fashion, but also its way of life. It was coined by Baldassare Castiglione, who described it as “a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it”.
Sprezzatura can be applied to all manner of things and can sometimes be used to describe someone’s sense of style. This could be an elegant outfit that gives the impression it was thrown together in seconds without much thought, when in fact every part was carefully put together. It is all about balancing restraint with sophistication.
Whether it’s the designs or the materials themselves, here at Artigiano, we ensure we achieve that level of supreme luxury Italy is known for.
History of Italian Fashion
Italy’s decadent love affair with luxury fashion can be traced back to 14th century Florence, where the unspoken philosophy of fare la bella figura was in full effect. The phrase (which we also use for our online fashion journal) literally translates to ‘cutting a beautiful figure’, but is better understood by English ears as ‘making a good impression’. Much is lost in this translation, but at its core fare la bella figura is all about presentation; essentially how one composes themselves in front of others.
There’s no better example of this than the age-old custom of passeggiata. This quintessential Italian ritual usually takes place in the early evening and involves a leisurely walk or stroll through the main streets of the city or town, for the purpose of socialising.
This parade of sorts was a great opportunity for affluent Florentines to display their finest regalia as well as their superior social skills. It was because of this that some of the wealthier Florentine families of the time invested heavily in the production of the finest garments money could buy, giving birth to a budding, albeit fledgling, fashion industry.
Although ahead of their time, the rest of the world were sadly unaware of the cultural enlightenment taking place in Florence. It wasn’t until the 20th century that Italy’s fashion industry finally received the international fame and reverence it deserved.
The country experienced an economic boom following the Second World War that propelled them to front of the world stage. Entrepreneurs such as Giovanni Battista Giorgini saw the potential of the Italian fashion industry and began pooling together designs from the best tailors and dressmakers in the country. Giorgini went on to hold the first fashion shows in the now legendary Sala Bianca at Palazzo Pitti in Florence with great success. All that was missing was the stars to fill them.
Italy’s Fashion Icons
The 50s and 60s brought with them a flood of distinguished style icons, thanks in part to the bustling movie scene taking the country by storm. Films like Roman Holiday and La Dolce Vita cemented Italy’s status as a cultural force, giving international filmmakers a perfect backdrop that exuded a signature Italian style the world was beginning to build an appetite for.
Big Italian names such as Sophia Loren, Monica Bellucci, and Monica Vitti had the world’s eyes on them and, importantly, on what they were wearing. International superstars such as Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart were also caught traipsing around Rome in beguiling Italian finery. The paparazzi was happy to give the public what they wanted, presenting a country where style was an intrinsic part of everyday life.
Italian style was now on everyone’s minds and in 1958, Milan Fashion Week was born, giving rise to the city’s new reputation as one of the “Big Four” fashion capitals of the world.
Milan Fashion Week September 2018
Milan Fashion Week is one of the main sources of inspiration for Artigiano’s designers. Droves of fashionistas from around the world will be heading to the historic city to showcase their highly anticipated collections. Throughout the week, our designers will be at every show and runway event, identifying this season’s key trends and themes so we can interpret them – the Artigiano way – into our own collections.
To mark the beginning of the week, Gucci – in collaboration with The Michael Clark Company – will be holding an opulent soirée at its headquarters that will feature a extravagant ballet performance. Prada will also unveil an exciting new collection that intends to “interpret the spirit of new generations without losing [our] brand integrity.”
Another of this year’s highlights will be Moncler unveiling the second chapter of their new initiative called Moncler Genius – a series of high-profile collaborations with prominent international designers. The Italian-based label, famed for its high-end outerwear, will no doubt continue its crusade to turn puffer jackets into the most coveted item in everyones’ winter wardrobe.
Emporio Armani decided not to make an appearance at the men’s schedule this June in lieu of a co-ed runway show. Dubbed the ‘Emporio Armani Boarding’, the appropriately named show will be held at Milan’s Linate Airport. This unconventional location shares history with the brand, sporting a lavish billboard above one of its hangar since 1996.
Artigiano’s Commitment to Italian Style
Italian fashion will never go out of style. Both classic and timeless, it will forever keep us coming back for more. Be it luscious cashmere jumpers, butter-soft shoulder bags or handmade jewellery, Artigiano can help you create your very own bella figura.
Want the latest Italian look? Head on over to our new collections page.