It could be said that Italian menswear is in the midst of a rediscovery period. Classical tailoring and high fashion are no longer the Sharks and Jets of the clothing world, occupying the same territory and yet perpetually in combat. Now, more than ever, it is not enough for a tailoring house to simply make garments, they must also be “designers” in all senses of the word. An Italian tailoring house should cater to their diehard roster of bespoke customers, while also appealing to the whims of those that diligently observe the comings and goings of runway shows throughout Europe. The key to this (as in most things clothing related) is balance – don’t alienate the clients that brought you success all along, but don’t appear complacent.
Canali has discovered an interesting solution to this situation by hiring Andrea Pompilio as a “creative consultant” for this season. Pompilio earned his stripes at decisively high fashion labels like Prada and Yves Saint Laurent before founding his own brand to great acclaim just five years ago. With a background such as this, Pompilio brings a much needed set of fresh eyes to the Canali studio. With his first collection, which rolled out in June at Milan Fashion Week (because, of course) Pompilio has reinterpreted the storied tenets of Canali through an acute designer lens.
The structural elements and rich textures that have always been a component of Canali’s collections remain intact, but to Pompilio these are just pieces to a much larger puzzle. From the boxier outerwear (Italian’s sure do seem to love Eisenhower jackets), to the boat necked short sleeved knits, to the patterned trousers with exaggerated cuffs, to the trimmed out double breasted jackets, it’s clear that Pompilio’s interpretation of Canali is a sumptuous vision all his own. Now, let’s just hope he keeps those visions coming.