Craft / January 2018

Lardini: Balancing Elegance and Whimsy

With forward-thinking collaborations and cutting-edge techniques, Lardini has grown beyond a family-owned tailoring house to become one of Italy’s most successful exports.

Navy wool windowpane check double-breasted two-piece suit, Lardini; black button-down shirt, Ign. Joseph; black leather Chelsea boot, Grenson. Styling by Jo Grzeszczuk, photograph by Olivier Barjolle.

Whether it’s an expressive shoulder, dartless front or larger-than-life lapel, a tailoring house’s distinguishing feature is its most effective trademark; a silent method of communication between the sartorially-inclined. For Italian brand Lardini, this signature is worn like a badge of honour – with a simple woollen flower attached to the jacket’s lapel buttonhole.

This detail was conceived by founder Luigi Lardini, who established the business in 1978 and, along with his family, has grown it into one of Italy’s most famed tailoring houses. With a penchant for fine clothing, he started the brand’s workshop in Filottrano, creating pieces of such high calibre that some of Italy’s most notable fashion houses started commissioning Lardini to realise their own designs. “At first, we were very renowned for quality and the price of our garments,” says Luigi, “with excellent production phases for each garment.”

It wasn’t until 1993, after decades of fine-tuning those processes as well as defining the brand’s aesthetic, that Lardini launched its first eponymous menswear collection. Although there’s nothing new about elegant tailoring in a place such as Italy, the brand’s youthful and innovative approach made it stand out from its predecessors and peers – a mentality it has carried with it to the present day. “The company pays special attention to innovation on the fit of each garment,” says Luigi, “and the importance of research and creativity in choosing fabrics and patterns that can give elegance to every single piece.”

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Jessica Beresford

Jessica is The Rake's Managing Editor.