Tuesday 10 December 2013

Cesare Attolini’s sartorial excellence in La Grande Bellezza

Cesare Attolini’s suits in La Grande Bellezza

Film director, Paolo Sorrentino’s “La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)”, a nostalgic, melancholic ode to the eternal city of Rome, is in the official selection at the 66th Cannes film festival. Neapolitan tailoring firm, Cesare Attolini labels the timeless elegance of Jep Gambardella, the leading protagonist played by the great Italian actor Toni Servillo.

Clothes were selected by the Neapolitan actor himself and by the costume-designer Daniela Ciancio. On Wednesday, Paolo Sorrentino and Toni Servillo of “La Grande Bellezza” walked up the red carpet in beautiful Cesare Attolini tuxedos.

A history of passion and Know-how culture

«In the world nothing great has ever been accomplished without passion», as unparalleled German idealist philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel sentenced, during one of his academic lessons. Before that of tailoring that has written the history of contemporary elegant menswear, Attolini is the name of a family, a big family. Inextricably united, over three generations, by a profound passion, because truly simple and visceral. The tireless engine is fueled with dedication and enthusiasm, taste and know-how culture, uniqueness and unrepeatability, creativity and handcraft knowledge. Attolini managed to face without any trouble the journey along a pathway lacking easy shortcuts towards absolute genuineness and quality. These are the meaningful values that have accompanied the Attolini family for the past eighty years, leading it to be the protagonist of renowned Neapolitan haute couture on the world stage of sophistication.

THE ORIGINS • Vincenzo
 At the turn of the thirties in the last century, Naples was one of the finest cities in Italy. Serafini, Morziello, De Nicola were the names of famous tailors and lots more within the city walls. Neapolitan fashion design was, in fact, well-known all around Italy, and was the offspring of a mixture of British style, and French and Spanish influences. For nearly three decades, from the beginning of the century until 1930, Neapolitan style coincided mainly with the British one. Despite the climate and the uncomfortable stiffness of form, Neapolitans dressed as perfect British. That was until a young Neapolitan tailor, thanks to his strong creative intuition, his deep sense of harmony, and unmatched manual skill in cutting fabrics, rewrote the rules of overseas stiff elegance. His name - Vincenzo Attolini - used to repeat to his admirers that a good tailor is nothing but a craftsman who makes imperfect clothes for imperfect bodies. And his were not limited to being mere conjectures.

It is in 1930 that he designs, cuts and sews a jacket from the line that had never been seen before and with unusual finishes. A garment that would have been considered alternative even during the Sixties, to then be permanently consecrated as a paradigm of elegance in the Nineties. Disarmingly simple but able to delete, all of a sudden, all the rigours of male elegance, making the English garments look like something from the Jurassic. All pads off, on the shoulders too, and inner lining off. Only the essential stays, making the jacket soft and light like a shirt. So deconstructed that it can be folded six, eight, ten times. No tailor had ever dared so much in the previous fifty years. It is a revolution. It is the invention of the Neapolitan style and of the garment that, unconsciously, everyone in the world today simply calls “the jacket”. But that which the young Vincenzo brings to life is not only an opportunity for a new practicality, a relieving lightness, but it is the image of a fully performing man. His scissors capable of almost miraculous cuts allow, with those draped chests and sleeves that border lined shabbiness, with the unusual pocket shape and the very bold “boat style” pocket, the transition from a man who dresses with sophistication for etiquette reasons, to one that, while dressing, does no more than express himself. He is finally free of indulging in all freedom his taste as well as his spontaneous motion. Needless to say, many noticed it. The most prestigious men of the time come, day after day, like pilgrims, to the tailor of Via Vetriera in Naples, just one hundred steps away from the point in Via Filangieri where the refined Cesare Attolini atelier stands today. Their aim, needless to say, is to redesign their own style in the name of softness and curvedness of master Vincenzo’s jackets. If Totò, De Sica, Mastroianni and Clark Gable, from the Fifties onwards, are its main ambassadors in the world of International stardom - King Vittorio Emanuele III and the famous Duke of Windsor are the two most extreme cases of how even the aristocratic conventions had to bend to the temptation of a new and captivating fashion. It is not a legend that the impeccable Duke, always dressed with clothes sewn by English tailors only, fell in love, walking through the magical Piazzetta of Capri, with a creation by Vincenzo Attolini. This occurred just at the point of stopping the passer-by who wore it and ask of whose fatherhood it belonged. It is also not a legend that tells of the endless debates between the prince of tailors and that of comedy, the great Totò, on the themes of painting and opera. «My father and Totò were great friends! - Cesare Attolini recalls – they debated a lot and shared numerous artistic interests. Totò often came to Via Vetriera to visit my father. He liked to watch him at work. Those moments had a unique, unrepeatable taste».

«In 1930, my father Vincenzo dared to question the British model, accomplishing a true revolution. We make good use of his teachings daily and work constantly to make the jacket more and more suitable for the contemporary lifestyle. Our secret can be summarised in a simple formula: we always work seriously, without looking for easy shortcuts that can reward you in the short term but that inevitably turn you down in the long run».
 Cesare Attolini

«The sense of proportion is our leit-motif. We love to express ourselves giving up questionable extravagance. In our work, the essential guide is first of all quality fabrics and cut. As one can see, our secret is indeed that of succeeding with simplicity and ease in the very difficult link between tradition and modernity. The result of such synthesis is indeed that balance and harmony one can perceive every time a garment labelled Cesare Attolini is worn».
 Massimiliano Attolini
«Elegance is a concept which is incomprehensible in many ways. We want our garments to help people express their natural way of being. Their value is to make the wearer always feel at ease. We have always dipped elegance and sophistication into contemporary living, because it is our belief that wearing a suit labelled Cesare Attolini should always be a unique and distinctive experience built on style and pleasure».
 Giuseppe Attolini

roma lifestyle from cesare attolini napoli on Vimeo.

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