Lasts summer the news was that Italian Loro Piana had decided to sell a majority stake in the business to Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton LVMH and the sale was finally completed last December.
Another breaking news regarding the brand was published in December when it was announced that Mr Sergio Loro Piana, one of two brothers that took over the business after their father in the 1970s, and who continued to develop the brand and really expanded it into the luxury retail markets, had passed away at the age of 65.
I’ve said it before, personally I’m a big fan of the company and their overall aesthetics, but especially fond of their look books featuring beautiful and most inspiring illustrations.
Field jackets, suede & leather blousons, unstructured blazers and lightweight sweaters combined with light colored cotton slacks and suede or crocodile loafers & matching belts - a collection that underlines the ease, elegance and form of Italian style of being dressed-up but still casual and “chic”.
In terms of recognizable “brand identity” Eleventy is one of my personal favorites. The visit at their booth in the first day of the fair did not really surprise me - as the company seemed to continue playing by their strengths - keeping things simple and clean, offering a diverse and “easy to combine” selection that would make a great base to build a wardrobe for any men.
As usual, in terms of colors Eleventy trusts the basics - blue, grey, brown and burgundy. However for the upcoming fall the color palette has been slightly darkened. Lighter grays have been complemented with darker hues and tones in general a bit deeper shades and tones have been used. Even the blues and other colors are more burnt than earlier.
As said by themselves - combining casual elegance & comfort with classic taste and modern interpretation are the key words of the collection.
Dressed-up casual - the most classic Eleventy.
Burgundy, together with shades of blue and grey was one of the dominating colors in the collection.
Hiking boots with a lambswool lining and thick rubber sole - would look great when paired with a pair of dark denim and a chunky roll neck sweater.
Behind Carmina there is the Albaladejo family that has been making shoes on the island of Majorca for almost 150 years. The company itself, Carmina Shoemaker was found in 1997 by José Albaladejo, even though it was just to continue a long tradition together with his family. Visiting at their booth is always a pleasure and this time in Florence was no exception.
Carmina shoes are made using best possible leathers (including Horween shell cordovan of which special treatments the company is renowed and more exotic leather choices such as alligator, crocodile and lizard), all shoes are goodyear-stitched and made with the same techniques, consistency and perfection as their English counterparts. Read about the eleven steps of making Carmina shoes from here.
Regarding the presentation at Pitti Uomo - new design to highlight was definitely the “U-tip” balmoral-oxford (and -boot) made on the “Rain” last combining leather and suede smoothly together. Perfectly suitable for business and also for others more formal occasions.
In terms of the selection, one of the strengths of Carmina in general is definitely their wide selection of boots, ranging from most formal balmoral versions all the way to more casual options such as chukka or shell cordovan derby boots featuring thick dainite rubber soles.
Different boots for different occasions. Was personally especially fond of the brown calf x brown suede chelsea boot in the middle of the top picture.
Monday inspiration - little by little towards the spring
Cold days are not over yet but hopefully sun and warm will be taking over soon. Working towards summer with tones of blue, brown and green, a combination suitable for both; days in the office and casual after-work meetings. Especially the denim shirt is a great way to tone down your usual business outfit without making it too informal.
Jacket: SuitSupply Blazer: Lardini Trousers: Incotex Shirt: Danolis
Shoes: Alfred Sargent Tie&PS: Drake’s London Shades: Illesteva
Cantarelli is one of those that every time seems to try and come up with something new for the layout of their stand. This time the theme was “stile ricercato” which translated would be ”Wanted: STYLE” representing the theme of the collection. The booth was with pictures of Italian-American gangsters, some dressed nicely, some more looking like they were captured for a “mugshot” which on the other hand gave the booth an impression of being a closet full of gangsters hiding out behind a #menswear wardrobe.
In terms of colors the collection features variety of different shades of blues mixed with gray and neutral tones of beige and brown from light to darker ones contradicted by touch of orange, rust and even creamy white. The fabrics ranges from solid wools printed with tie inspired micro-designs and stamped checks to jersey, ultra-light gauzed cotton and fine corduroy with striking iridescent effect.
By their own words the F/W ´14 collection presented by Italian Cantarelli at Pitti Uomo 85 is characterized by preciousness, harmonized fabrics, detailed finishing, comprehensive shapes. sharp colors and particularly attention to tailored details.
Sometimes “the wanted” wears… brushed fabrics with strong and bold patterns featuring a bit more constructed shoulder that helps emphasizing the slim cut and shape of the suit - Cantarelli’s way to do business
Sometimes “the wanted” wears jackets with formfitting shoulders in soft fabrics to smoothen the silhouette. Rust wool - a perfect pair for denim and chunky light colored roll neck sweaters.
Feeling and dressing up in a light way are the key concepts of Tombolini - expression of the present days mixed with tradition that the idea of contemporary way of living without any excess.
The suits and jackets of the brand are the emblem of the concrete quality and the cut shows and proves the ability of doing things well and durable at the same time.
Simple colors, soft shapes and clean lines together with the “lightness” and refined style are the key elements that guarantee Tombolini’s success season after season.
The S/S ´14 lookbook that was shot at the beautiful landscape of La Riviera del Conero makes one to long for summer that still seems to be far away at least when looking outside the window here in Helsinki.
Zero Gravity line - just 300 grams weight for outfits that dress the body with an inimitable mixture of the purest wool, cashmere, silk, fresh linen and bright cottons.
For serious travellers - business blazer made of “threehundredandsixtydegrees” fabric that boasts virtues such as water repellence and anti-bacterial & perspiring properties and the jacket itself is featured with a series of unusual details such as the cigar-case or the newspaper & key holder.
The core of the collection for the summer are the doudble-breasted suits and blazers in shades of classic blues and browns.
Suede / nappa leather jacket for those more casual get-aways giving you a relaxed but still a sharp look.
Earlier I wrote about the new rising of a traditional shoe brand Wildsmith (you can see the post here) and when Chay asked me if was interested to give some of their pair a try, I of course was more than glad to take that chance.
As one can see from the pics below the weather in Finland at the moment is not the most optimal for loafers. However I luckily got the chance to wear these already in Florence during Pitti Uomo and now I’m waiting for the summer to come.
Trinity - Brogue punched saddle loafer
When making the choice, I basically had two options - the “George” chukka boot in oxblood pebble grain leather and the Trinity. As my rotation was at the moment missing a pair of calf leather loafers and as there’s actually no pair similar to these available on the market from any brand as far as I’m concerned, I decided to go with Trinity.
The pair chosen combines classic brogue design with the understated style of a loafer / slip-on. Whereas normal penny loafer features a “strap” that in the past was supposed to allow the wearer to place small objects such as pennies, Trinity only features a brogue punched “saddle” over the instep and in addition medallion perforation at the toe.
Shortly, the shoes are made in Norhampton, England with a goodyear-welted construction, featuring simple leather soles with closed channel stitching and leather lining. Being made of burnt chestnut calf leather I believe the shoes are optimal to create a nice and natural patina over the years.
Few more months to wait before wearing these in the streets of Helsinki
The first wear - in Florence.
Monday inspiration - cold day casual
Last week Helsinki finally got the “real winter” and the temperature seriously dropped. Therefore this weeks inspiration is about keeping oneself warm even in the freezing cold (with the help of cashmere). In case you’re not a friend of denim but still want to stay at the casual side, replace them with a pair of 5-pocket flannel trousers.
Jacket: Herno Sweater: Gran Sasso Shirt: Gherardi
Jeans: Incotex Boots: Alden x Leffot
Beanie&Scarf: Viola Milano
sajentsbc asked: Hey, Love the blog although a lot of stuff does seem to fly over my head. Just starting to actually pay attention to what I buy and wear. Was just wondering whether the majority of the stuff you review is availablein the uk and where you're based?
Thanks a lot mate!
First of all, I’m based in Helsinki, Finland. However I think that most of the stuff you see on the blog (and what I review) are available in the UK or at least available to get online to UK.
Secondly, to get you started properly take a look at this post (“menswear for beginners”) and the links there that will take you to the posts about “dressing on a budget" and "how to start to be classy" that I’ve written earlier. And if you have any other questions, let me know!
Anonymous asked: Hi! I'm a big fan of your blog, and I understand you're more familiar with European brands and stores than US ones. Could you give some advice on off-the-rack suits and what online stores are the best as far as returns/exchanges? My budget is around $700 and the main reason I need your help is because I'm not familiar with the quality of the fabrics and construction of European brands. I'm looking for an everyday suit, nothing too delicate like a S150's.
Thanks for your kind words!
Regarding your question you can first take a look here. There’s few tips on the subject and as said, buying a suit is always a bit of a personal matter and linked to your body build, preferences and the atmosphere where you’re using the suit. And also check the link from there to the post of Put This On article about “where to look for a suit” which covers the subject really well.
However I think that giving the budget and the fact that you would like the “return / exchange” to be easy I think you have two basic alternatives, which are SuitSupply and Yoox as they both basically gives you free delivery (and return) when buying a suit. But be sure to check out the other shops from the links above as well.
In terms of SuitSupply, I would personally go with their Sienna or Napoli line in case looking for a good everyday suit as you said, such as this or this one, both made of fabrics by Vitale Barberis Canonico.
In general when going through Yoox there are few brands to check and stay for starters (in my opinion).
- L.B.M 1911 / Luigi Bianchi Mantova / Brando (Lubiam)
As all of these are featured with decent quality materials and construction. The pics are not the best one can get but on the other hand as said, they have free delivery and returns. Stay with the ones that are stated to be pure wool (unfortunately you won’t get any more detailed descriptions than that) and simple colors such as blue or gray. Therefore I bet you’ll find what you’re looking for.
If you want some more detailed views (regarding the fit or whatever), please just hit me with a message on the comment-section and we’ll see what we can do.
stevemckenna asked: The Waterville line looks great! Any online vendors that you know of? Thanks!
Also got few other questions related to this matter and if Waterville is sold somewhere in the US.
Unfortunately I don’t happen to know any online-retailers that would be selling Waterville at the moment.
However Michael Jondral had some of their jackets at some point at least and Epaulet has had some models as well made by them for their own private label.
If there’s someone who knows, raise your hands…