Casual, sexy elegance. Superb fabrics. Meticulous tailoring. Sexy. Gorgeous accessories. Seductive grace. La bella figura.
These are a few of the expressions that fashion insiders and the general public alike use to try to capture the essence of the Italian Look -- a fashion phenomenon that is as easy to recognize as it is hard to explain. Why do the Italians look so good? And why does everyone look better in Italian clothes?
Here's the essence: The Italian Look says, "look at me," not "look at my clothes." Everything about it is aimed at enhancing the appearance, the elegance, of the wearer. That's why accessories are so important to the Italian Look. Anyone can wear a great suit, or a great dress, but do you know how to combine that man's suit with just the right shoes, and tie, and pocket handkerchief, and hat? Or that dress with the right shoes, handbag, scarf, and jewelry?
Every piece of the puzzle combines to make the picture complete. Start with textiles -- the finest woolen, cotton, and silk fabrics produced anywhere in the world. Then the dress, or the tailored suit, from a world-famous designer. Add the shoes, made from the finest leather and with a superb sense of design -- who can compete with the Italians when it comes to shoes? Add leather accessories, fabric accessories, jewelry, eyewear; add radiant skin and hair from exquisite personal-care products. Top it off with the confidence that you are perfectly dressed. And when it is done perfectly -- questa bella figura! As footwear executive Diego Rossetti put it in a recent interview, " The passion for beauty and the love for elegance are the features of Italian style. Italian savoir faire is part of our tradition, of our story, of what we are."
The Italian Look is not just the product of a few regional centers of design and production, but draws on all of Italy: textiles from Lombardy, shoes from Veneto, leather goods from Tuscany, fashion designs from Milan, Florence, or Rome. All these and more come together to create the Italian fashion industry, while Italian fashion magazines, photographers, models, journalists, advertising agencies, and merchandisers nurture the Italian Look as it changes and evolves with the times. Fashion has become an intrinsic part of life in modern Italy.