One of my most memorable experiences in Naples was visiting Antonio Panico, a legendary tailor in Italy. I wrote about the visit in a two-part article for StyleForum. The first part went up today and I encourage you to read it.
Panico is an elegant man with a strong presence, and his workshop is one of the last places where you can see the kind of tailoring that seems to have all but disappeared. When he can, he uses heavy, vintage cloths, which have a drape that just isn’t seen in today’s lighter materials. The silhouettes hark back to the Golden Era of Italian style, the 1950s and ‘60s. They’re shaped, but masculine, and they have full chests that give off a lot of bravado. There are also the details that everyone fetishizes – barchetta pockets, manica camicia, soft shoulders, so on and so forth. It kind of flattens them out to name them in this way, however. Though most tailors in Naples make their suits with these details, the beauty is always in the art of the execution. Panico’s work is much more beautiful than most.
Below are photos of the Maestro himself, his work, and the atelier in Naples (there’s also one in Rome). If you’ll notice, the coats and jackets have a rather handsome drape to them, and all the lapels have an expressive roll towards the buttoning point. They remind me of a passage Panico wrote on his website, which I’ll end this entry with:
“On the contrary, elegance is not anonymous. It is shown and felt. A few people maintain the opposite, however. According to them, elegance is not to be seen or emphasized. But they speak as tamed men. An elegant suit is a drum roll and the man who wears it is completely aware of this. Elegance is music, not a hateful noise. Those people, who can’t perceive harmony, can’t perceive elegance.”
Read more at StyleForum.