When Tod’s creative director Walter Chiapponi took his final bow at the helm of the Italian luxuriate, the designer’s white worker’s shirt was emblazoned with the following adage: “The essential is visible to the eyes, but not for everyone, nor even to understand everything”. The subject of the phrase is drawn from The Little Prince, but when applied under the context of Chiapponi’s epilogue, it reflects the fabled history of a heritage label firm in their resolve.
Tod’s raison d’être is to be a medium to broadcast the beauty of Italian craftsmanship, using their iconic Di Bag or newly coveted Gammino Ballerina shoe as a vessel to display artistry and technical ability innate to Italy. This unwavering devotion to delivering savoir-faire is one of the luxuriate’s most inimitable qualities, bringing forth the la dolce vita lifestyle long before any ‘tomato girl aesthetic’ or micro trend ever did.
So, to mark Chiapponi’s final collection, the Milan-born designer looked to the invisible fundamentals that differentiate something as Made In Italy.
Presented against the mise-en-scene of unfinished set pieces and production for an upcoming performance of Don Carlos, Tod’s places this collection in-situ amongst scenographers, sculptors and carpenters to highlight the innate workmanship inherent to every Tod’s piece.
The collection draws on masculine codes prominent in the 90s, where minimalist tailoring, leatherwork and knitwear reigned supreme. Over 44 looks, Tod’s reimagines these staples—a pleated skirt accented by harness motifs or shirting with inverted collars to appear like they’re worn backwards—through a softly feminine lens.
Essentials in the Tod’s wardrobe, including the trench coat or leather blouson, are reconstructed in fresh hues or billowing shapes to evoke a sense of Springtime ease. Pieces to move about the city with adroitness, while maintaining a firm understanding that every garment worn is one finalised with a human touch.
As always, Tod’s accessories are a standout, including lurid chartreuse mules, Gammino moccasins and a new woven sandal that smooths the harsh interlacing fisherman sandal for a metropolitan appeal.
However, it is the labour’s work belt reenvisioned as a utilitarian accessory that serves as the proverbial pièce de résistance for a collection advocating for a craft-led approach to fashion. This saddle-shaped style featured in almost every look, featuring two distinct pockets and a gilded clip suitable for hanging your leather gloves when you grow tired of wearing them.
Though Chiapponi’s future is yet to be revealed, this collection cements Tod’s legacy as the superlative of Italian flair. Harmony in precision.