After seeing in their centurion triumph, Trussardi was hyped as the highlight of Pitti this season. The Italian-based label marked their most significant anniversary to date with a homage to their history, success and all of their passions combined. So, with their momentous year still at present, I thought it only right to account my adoration!
This fall symbolises the roots of a company that has expanded unrecognisably since Dante Trussardi’s launch in 1911. The label indulges itself in fashion, art, food and design (what more could we want) and has Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala and Café Trussardi to serve International food, advanced by their standard of excellence. All the while, the non-profit Fondazione Nicola Trussardi museum platforms their value for art within Milan and the unknown of contemporary movement.
If fashion, food, art and design wasn’t enough, the company has also provided Italy a concert venue, Palatrussardi, since 1986. It is a venue which has staged unsurpassed shows, one of which being Frank Sinatra’s final performance in Italy. The Stazione Leopolda venue displayed contemporary art pieces from the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi’s collection, while the two-Michelin-star Trussardi’s chef, Andrea Berton, served a dinner fit for fashion’s Kings and Queens; marking their success with a calorie loaded appeasement of all things Italian and dangerously delicious.
The fall 2011 collection displayed alongside the above proved just as dangerous in the eyes of Italy’s vigilant style critics – as you’ll soon understand. Current creative director, Milan Vukmirovic, dedicated several aspects of the show to the history of the company. The final model walked, or rather dragged a greyhound as it slid (in similar form to a few models) along the frictionless catwalk, referencing the greyhounds symbol of dagility, elegance, and speed used in the Trussardi logo, created in 1973.
It has been a requirement since the first menswear collection in 1984 that the models tune into their inner greyhound and parallel the elegant swiftness of the animal when wearing pieces made to move in such a manner. The Trussardi man is always expected to lead – thankfully not a greyhound – but an art-conscious intelligence and come with an appetite for imagination fed cultures.
1911 – Trussardi, founded in Bergamo by Dante Trussardi, launches as a luxury glove supplier.
1965 - Nicola Trussardi takes over the business and does what Karl later did to Chanel. The company is throttled in a modern direction while still adhering to Dante’s original principles.
1973 – Trussardi becomes the first fashion label to be recognised by a logo. The greyhound, as a Trussardi identity, symbolises the ‘elegance and speed’ behind the company.
1981 - Trussardi designs a bicycle, reflecting Italy’s elegant means of transport.
1984 - The birth of Trussardi menswear with a spring/summer collection in the Contemporary Art Pavilion. The event proves abnormal and even questionable to the industry with a general public admittance.
1986 - Frank Sinatra makes his final bow to Italy, live at the Trussardi owned Palatrussardi.
1989 - Trussardi purchase the Hotel Marino Alla Scala in Milan with plans to develop a platform of different cultures and identities for the city.
1990 - The first fragrance for men, ‘Action’, is launched.
1997 – Trussardi has now branched out to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Moscow, Taiwan, Paris, Melbourne and Naples, establishing a label with international credibility.
2002 - Beatrice Trussardi is given presidency and the position of CEO at Trussardi, while Rome, Shanghai and Beijing are provided eagerly awaited boutiques.
2007 - Trussardi is now esteemed for their restaurant after Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala earns its first star in the Michelin guide.
2008 – Creative director Milan Vukmirovic launches The Trussardi 1911 brand, opening both a men and women’s boutique in Milan.
2011 – Trussardi celebrates 100 years of a perfectly maintained ethos of excellence.
This season’s collection plays with a masculine/feminine fusion and sometimes crosses into camp with sleeveless leather zip-ups and low-neck tees exposing more chests than it covers. This could very well be the Marmite of fashion trends in concern of men, however after Burberry Prorsum, Marni, John Richmond, Bottega Veneta and Hermes have done it, their look is undeniably in.
Leather has a way of turning beautiful cuts into pieces with stiff restrictions. However, in celebration of their 100th year, Trussardi have rewound a century and created their fall collection primarily from this single material – a material that the company originally relied heavy upon when specialising in gloves during their early years.
Far from restricted, the pieces fall, hold, drop, rise and fasten free from the usual limitation of leather-covered limbs. The collection offers not only new ways to wear the texture, but also new ways of moving in it. The refusal to acknowledge the reality of the season with senseless items – such as the two previously mentioned – adheres to the fun and freedom of Trussardi.
If they want a collection of leather vests and ponchos, they’re going to have it. They’re also going to influence many to want it with their enticing flexibility.
Trussardi esteem themselves as a “byword for excellence, discreet sophistication, experimentation and innovation.” You can see this is no exaggeration when you look at the execution of the pieces above. There is a power within the clothes, dominance and almost darkness, not just with the pitch palette but their enigmatic, overly confident energy.
The heavy repetition of black and the absence of a lighter diversity in texture has made the collection suitable only for fall – which is all the more the reason to grasp and experiment while the temperature will have you relieved for such insulation.
The Mods and Rockers element coincides with the rebellious reign of Rydell High’s T-Birds and their accountability for forcing leather jackets over white tees back into a turbulent stereotype. Trussardi relish the suffocating boundaries some are confined to with menswear to further exempt themselves as traditional and more a label in denial of any ceilings in style.
The geniuses of Morticia Addam’s male equivalents are their vampy imperfections. Trousers aren’t completely tucked into boots, double zip jackets are fastened at the top and left open at the bottom, the sheepskin cuffs and collars are folded and stood as if done so blindly, while sleeves fall with a baggy freedom.
The collection doesn’t particularly master a new silhouette, however it masters the use and practicality of fabrics to surface new-fangled holds from basic cuts used all too often in Milan. In other words, Trussardi have put two fingers up to the conventions and expectations of menswear textures, while still oozing demure, in defiance of any restriction.
If you’re wracked with the concern of looking Harley Davidson-ready, here’s how to latch onto the right look and spot the kind of leather you should leave for Easyrider’s monthly subscribers.
The inspired looks I have put together reflect Trussardi and their desire to distribute tasteful cuts, incomparable quality and free movement. I have taken into consideration the likelihood of reluctance from men (which does include myself) to wear head-to-toe leather this season.
The result is a wearable take on the label, which still obliges the basic principles Trussardi decided to rise for fall. The key accessories to advance this look are black/khaki army caps, holdalls, leather gloves and sunglasses. Stick to a three accessory maximum (including a belt even if worn purely for necessity) and you’ll finish the Trussardi approach faultlessly.
From a Bergamo glove factory to a Milan empire, Trussardi has developed and progressed over a century to epitomise Italy and its self-torturous, uncompromising standards.
The sincere homage to leather paid this season took the plunge and stripped back to not only the company’s past but instigated its future within the industry; all too often starved of risk.
So Happy 100th Trussardi and three cheers for your committal to challenge. May the next one hundred be just as diverse and ever expanded in all things design, art, food and inimitable fashion!
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