Tod's is traditionally a story of leather, and the fall-winter 2011-2012 men's collection is no exception. The craftspeople at Tod's are masters in working even the hardest and toughest leathers - such as crocodile - and transforming it into a soft, luxuriant and pliant material that is a joy to see, touch and hold. Tod's traditions include some iconic designs, such as Gommino, the moccasin with semicircular studs at the back of the heel and on the sole, and so of course we saw these, but in some new colours, including wintry greys and brighter, more summery shades, and in combinations of new materials including antique-finish leather.
The collection was presented in the glorious setting of Villa Necchi Campiglio, in Via Mozart, Milan. This 1930s villa was highly innovative in its day, and the timber-panelled interiors were a perfect match to the discreet luxury of the Tod's collection. Footwear included formal black shoes that are given a casual note by means of the rubber soles, so that their use is no longer limited to evening events. There are new Gommini designs in which the classic moccasin is given an extra touch in the form of glossy leather trim. Casual trainers in beautiful vintage-feel leather; urban-style ankle boots in gloss-finish calfskin. A new moccasin design includes a strap across the others that has become an iconic detail, one that will be extended to future products. Briefcases also reflect the mixture of formal and casual, wth classic designs in which the sheer lightness and softness of the leather reduces the stiffness of rectangular forms and highlights the intriguing new colours, natural leather with hints of violet and bordeaux.
The demand for Tod's leather accessories is always very high. The brand was the first to introduce an iPad case, and this is now available in twelve colours. Other accessories such as wallets feature stitched stripes of leather, and the Tod's brand name applied in metal in various forms. The crocodile men's bag was, as I mentioned, incredible for the softness and pliancy of the leather.
Menswear includes biker's jackets and other informal overwear designs, with lovely suede waistcoats whose cool softness to the touch reflects its crafts brilliance. A highlight of the presentation was the Icons collection, presented in a reconstruction of the Philip Johnson "Glass House" originally built in 1949 and constructed in the grounds of the villa to present the new products based on the Gommino.
The "Winter Gommino" combines contemporary and traditional features, using rubber and valuable leather in boots with innovative detailing and in new colour palettes. Another Tod's speciality is the flexibility of its rubber soles, and this, along with the new leather finish, makes these boots suitable for all occasions: a sportswear style that can be used for formal occasions. The new colours include natural sand, stone, honey and chocolate colours, while the featured materials include brushed suede, vintage calfskin and the velvety sheen of ponyskin. The Winter Gommino will be available in all Tod's boutiques worldwide from July 2011.
Click here to see a list of Tod's boutiques worldwide
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