Imagine the electric blue of a Mediterranean sky seen in the clear skies of the morning. This is Naples blue, one of the trend colours of the men's spring/summer collections presented during the Milan shows in June 2013; a hue that featured strongly in Pal Zileri's proposals for the season. (Above, special guest Adrian Sutil, Formula One driver).
The presentation was held at the Pal Zileri showroom on Corso Matteotti, Milan, on Sunday 23 June 2013. The brand is always a classic: traditional high-quality tailoring and superb-quality Italian materials are forever brought up-to-date by intelligent styling and absolute sensitivity to future concepts. The result is an unerring sense of contemporary trends, in garments that are infinitely wearable and desirable. (Below, special guest Andrea Iannone, racing motorcyclist).
As for the fall/winter 2013-14 men's presentation, there was a pictorial theme, in this case Edward Hopper. Models stood in front of an enlarged version of the painting 'The Long Leg,' a sailing picture in which the sea is a close approximation to Naples blue.
Seeing the models wearing suits in this colour changed my own (admittedly traditionalist) preference for a dark suit. The wonderful shirts, ties and handkerchiefs make mixing and matching very easy, above all for those who like exploring the infinite variations on themes of blues, with intricate patterns and paisley.
Once again, Pal Zileri has worked in cooperation with Fratelli Tallia Di Delfino, manufacturer of highest-quality fabrics, this year styled into the new Giacca Pilota. This is an example of another feature seen at the spring/summer 2014 shows, the influence of the world of sports on fashion. The concept of the Giacca Pilota – which translates as 'racing driver's jacket' – is that the softness of the cotton makes it possible to drive while wearing the garment. It was modelled by racing motorcyclist Andrea Iannone, who wore this sumptuous blazer-style garment over light beige trousers, white shirt and striped violet tie. Iannone was guest of honour at the presentation, along with Formula One driver Adrian Sutil.
Pal Zileri translates the sports influence into details such as wide lapels, and a particular emphasis on the double-breasted jacket.
Colours of course went beyond blue. There was a particularly attractive white outfit in which the scarf detail provided a muted accent over a high-collared shirt. In another suit, a Prince of Wales double-breasted design featured a glorious check pattern featuring fine lilac lines.
The Lab line, destined for a younger generation of Pal Zileri customers, is, as usual, tough and rugged, with high-tech fabrics used for biker jackets over contrasting inner padding. Earthy reds provided a beautiful contrast with the blues of jeans and shirt; sandy-coloured suede blousons were casual chic worn over a silk scarf and unbuttoned white shirt. A lesson in cool dressing.