Leave it to the Italians. All wannabe soi-disant rapper and hip-hop ‘gangsters’ can make my day! Notwithstanding your ‘bling’, your cheap mass-marketed clothing lines guilded & steeped in your own artist’s names, your self-styled perfumes, aye, even the faux violence of your well-branded bad-boy life-style, you are still missing one essential ingredient and quality: That Most Wanted Style at the time of your inevitable arrest!
Indeed there is never a bad time to make a good lasting impression which will cement your legacy as a bad boy forever: So why not chose Cantarelli, and their pretty darn awesome ‘Stile Ricercato’, a most wanted style for winter and autumn based upon the mug-shot images of gangsters of times of yore. Yes for this mucho-retro style we are talking about the twenties and the thirties because it is most probable that indeed we have to go this far back before first finding some real bad boys who cared as much about how they dressed and how they looked, as that they valued their ‘careers’.
What strikes immediately when confronted with this fascinating collection of menswear in person is not only the old patterns and the old stitch, but very much so the old COLORS of faded browns, jaded greys, and gruesome blues, as if the art of coloring fabrics yet still needed to be invented at the time. On such old retro tweeds indeed a small white pochette makes an incredible difference and any accessory you may care to carry or wear is going to stand out to the point that it WILL be noticed: Your tweed casket has a different pattern – it will be noticed; you leave your tie untied – it will be noticed; you have something in your pocket or in your hand – it will be noticed, because your suit is meant and designed not to make you stand out, but to blend and fade you back into the background, so that what comes out is your personal style, your movement, and the character of your face.
Large long lost-square patterns and some darker shades of rust-red or ancient orange blend in nicely into the surprisingly light fabrics and wearing these precious items you will not only imagine yourself on the scene of old forgotten B-movies for which the script was never really finished or published, but you will also feel like the man of action of old, because these suits and jackets and ties and other items, they are not stiff, not ‘modern’, not meant to satisfy the taste of a man who buys a suit for business, but for a man who is on the move.
Thus perhaps Cantarelli, a designer family from Arezzo in Italy, may have arrived at their new ‘stile ricercato’ most-wanted collection, and word has it that it was Mr. Cantarelli himself who came up with the idea and that most sales world-wide have been coming from the USA. Working the Pitti Uomo in Florence at the beginning of January we were impressed immediately by the originality of this rather unique concept & design because the collection harks back to a time when style could not yet be purchased in a store – let alone shopped for online on your handheld device or pad; it is simply NOT ready-to-wear, because this is still from a time when clothes were worn to dress yourself, modestly, carefully, and properly. Wear-to-Care, and NOT Read-to-Wear. Just look at the following picture, and enjoy:
We looked it up and the Italian ‘ricercato’ has several meanings besides the English word ‘wanted’: Indeed it also means ‘precious’, ‘in great demand’, ‘refined’, and finally ‘most sought-after’ – as in ‘most wanted’ of course, a very apt name for a very special style, for a very special collection, for which the woman leaning on your arm is called Molly, and for which your hat falls halfway across your face, and your cigarette halfway from your mouth, while you take a sip of your drink. But then the doors to the bar swing open, and you are inadvertently arrested even though you did nothing; but you are ready…
Posted by Sandro Joo and photos by Yulia Gromova.