Feature: Modern Marvels

  • Ennio Capasa for Costume National viscose camisole, $315, and miniskirt, $640; Louis Vuitton Monogram Rivets handbag, about $1,820, and Sheerazade satin wedge sandals, about $618; Van Cleef & Arpels Frivole earrings, $3,400; Roberto Coin Chic & Shine necklace, $3,000, Nanis Paula necklace, $5,000, gold mesh bracelet, $2,100, and citrine and diamond cocktail ring, $2,350, all available at King Jewelers; Milus Monocera watch, $11,850; Christian Roth sunglasses, $270.
  • Salvatore Ferragamo linen jacket, $1,400, linen shirt, $185, pleat-front cotton pants, $255, silk tie, $130, and pocket square, $75; Canali belt, $195.
  • Just Cavalli stretch silk dress, $635; Graff radiant-cut yellow diamond ring, price upon request; Samuel Getz pear-shaped tourmaline earrings, $21,500, and bracelet of various cushion-shaped, rose-cut gems, $18,500. On him: Canali sport jacket, $1,395, textured cotton striped shirt, $225, and silk pocket square, $60; Brioni linen trousers, about $600; Chelsea by Robert Talbott textured silk tie, $85; Tutima limited-edition F2 PR watch, $4,300.
  • Etro wool-and-mohair Sebastiano suit with pockets for holding electronic gadgets, $1,600, slim Pietro shirt, $275, silk paisley tie, $125, and ostrich-embossed leather belt, $200; Robert Talbott silk pocket square, $62.50; John Lobb Ascot shoes, $1,520.
  • On Her » Missoni strapless silk dress, $4,855; Etro handbag, $590; Claudia Ciuti wedge sandals, $310; Samuel Getz green beryl pear-shaped briolette earrings, $27,000; Judith Ripka Monaco ring, $8,900, available at King Jewelers. On Him » Dunhill unlined linen/wool/silk jacket, $1,395, and twill pants, $225; Ermenegildo Zegna dress shirt, $215; Canali tie, $165; Salvatore Ferragamo pocket square, $75; A. Testoni loafers, $890; IWC Portuguese Laureus chronograph watch, $7,100, available at King Jewelers.
  • Etro silk chiffon Applicazioni top, $1,400, and tribal-print silk skirt, $850; Jean-François Fichot crystal earrings with red coral and conch shell, $1,200, and crystal and amethyst ring, $2,600; Lotus Arts de Vivre carved pink tourmaline ring with diamonds and pearls, $24,900, and Thai Serpent bangle with pink tourmaline and diamonds, $12,000. All jewelry available at the Setai.
  • Belvest linen suit, $2,295, and striped linen shirt, $395; Wehmeier’s Belt Shop American alligator belt, $325; J.M. Weston lace-up shoes, about $460; Ernst Benz ChronoScope watch with copper dial, $3,200.
  • Kai Kühne silk dress with obi, $1,450, available at Seven New York; Graff diamond and multicolor sapphire briolette necklace, price upon request; Samuel Getz pear-shaped morganite earrings, $19,000, and bracelet with 168.76 carats of pale blue sapphires, $28,600.
<< Back to Robb Report, March 2007
  • William Kissel

Belvest’s new spring linen suits and blazers appear to be classic warm-weather standbys, but the Italian manufacturer washes the material with enzymes that render it virtually stain resistant. Ferragamo, Dunhill, Canali, and other clothing companies are blending linen with wool, cotton, or silk to make it more impervious to wrinkles, and Corneliani is fabricating slacks from a microfiber cloth that stretches.

In their interpretation of Art Deco, the Setai’s architects and designers blended natural wood, stone, brick, and bronze. Makers of outerwear also are incorporating innovative fabrics into their fashions. Façonnable has introduced a lightweight and waterproof blouson jacket made of extremely dense polyester and nylon fibers. When the temperature rises, your body heat will pass through this material, preventing you from overheating. Loro Piana’s featherweight blouson jacket is made from the company’s proprietary synthetic nylon blend called Twenty K Storm System. The jacket is ideal for golfers and other sportsmen who prefer silence when they play, because, unlike most other jackets, it does not make scratchy sounds when you move your arms.


Instead of just touting their clothing’s handmade details and gossamerlike fabrics, these and other menswear manufacturers are exploring the possibilities presented by high technology and producing fashions that breathe, resist stains and wrinkles, shield from electromagnetic rays, and even conduct electricity. 


When science and fashion combine, the possibilities seem endless. Last fall, Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), created the Wearable Instrument Shirt. The organization’s researchers equipped a long-sleeved T-shirt with microscopic sensors that, as you play “air guitar,” register your arm movements and relay the information wirelessly to your computer, where digital audio files convert the motions to sound.

Fashion brands are applying technology in more practical ways, such as lining interior pockets with carbon-and-silver filament that discharges static electricity or deflects radiation and electromagnetic rays. Ermenegildo Zegna’s new iJacket, a lightweight garment made of water-resistant micronylon, employs groundbreaking technology that enables you to control your iPod by touching the jacket’s sleeve.


The jacket represents a collaboration between the Italian clothier and Eleksen, the British manufacturer of these so-called “smart” fabrics. “We’ve developed a way of putting several very thin layers of conductive carbon-coated nylon together so that when they are touched, the nature of the fabric’s chemical state changes,” says Eleksen CEO Robin Shephard. Touching the material, he explains, sends a wireless charge to a microchip embedded in the jacket pocket: “The chip is programmed to recognize the cloth changes and interpret them as on or off, or volume up and volume down.” Shephard says Eleksen is working with outerwear maker Spyder to create leather jackets that will allow you to control your iPod and your mobile phone using wireless Bluetooth in conjunction with the touch technology. When wearing such intelligent apparel, you cannot help but look smart.


A.Testoni » 877.837.8664, www.testoni.com
Belvest » 212.317.0460, www.belvest.com
Brioni » 888.778.8775, www.brioni.com
Canali » 212.767.0205, www.canali.it
Christian Roth » 212.244.4967, www.christian-roth.com
Claudia Ciuti » 888.312.4884, www.claudiaciuti.com
Costume National » www.costumenational.com
Dunhill » 212.753.9292, www.dunhill.com
Ermenegildo Zegna » 888.880.3462, www.zegna.com
Ernst Benz » 248.203.2323, www.ernstbenz.com
Etro » 212.317.9096, www.etro.it
Graff » 212.355.9292, www.graffdiamonds.com
Iwc » www.iwc.com; available at King Jewelers, 305.935.4900, www.kings1912.com
Jean-François Fichot » available at the Setai, 305.520.6005
Jil Sander » 212.838.6100, www.jilsander.com
J.M. Weston » 212.535.2100, www.jmweston.com
John Lobb » 212.888.9797, www.johnlobb.com
Judith Ripka » www.judithripka.com; available at King Jewelers, 305.935.4900, www.kings1912.com
Just Cavalli » www.robertocavalli.it; available at the Forum Shops
at Caesar’s Palace, 702.893.0369
Kai Kühne » www.kaikuhne.com; available at Seven New York, 646.654.0156
Kiton » www.kiton.it; available at Bergdorf Goodman, 212.339.3342
Lotus Arts De Vivre » www.lotusartsdevivre.com; available
at the Setai, 305.520.6005
Louis Vuitton » 866.884.8866, www.louisvuitton.com
Milus » 866.726.4587, www.milus.com
Missoni » 212.517.9339, www.missoni.com
Nanis » www.nanis.it; available at King Jewelers, 305.935.4900, www.kings1912.com
Robert Talbott » 800.747.8778, www.roberttalbott.com
Roberto Coin » www.robertocoin.com; available at
King Jewelers, 305.935.4900, www.kings1912.com
Salvatore Ferragamo » 800.628.8916, www.ferragamo.com
Samuel G etz » 305.448.4567, www.samuelgetz.com
Tutima » 310.378.7852, www.tutima.com
Van Cleef & Arpels » 800.822.5797,
Wehmeier’s Belt Shop » 888.525.2758, www.wehmeiers.com

From Around the Web...
Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton-Blend Twill Harrington Jacket, $185
Menswear expert Adam Brown’s strategy for packing clothes to carry you from the beach to the bar…
Brands big and small are making it easier than ever to find your perfect pair of glasses…
Louis Vuitton small wallet ($750
Louis Vuitton taps Jake and Dinos Chapman to put a wild spin on its classic monogram bags…
Mr Porter’s biggest capsule collection to date is an ode to Californian summers…
Six designs from Gucci, Ben Sherman, Zenith, and more that prove what’s old is new again…
Bold and playful prints you should be wearing from designers like Gucci, Valentino, and Thom Browne…
Sid Mashburn Made-to-Measurement program recently launched online
With the new digital Made-to-Measurement program, Sid Mashburn brings bespoke to your fingertips…
L’Atelier Lafont allows clients to design custom frames
Heritage eyewear brand Lafont opens its first atelier, letting you be the designer…
Ben Sherman pale-pink 1960s candy stripe shirt
Ben Sherman is reissuing three of its most iconic shirts for the limited-edition Archive Collection…
Swap out your standard canvas espadrille for a pair that features luxurious and versatile updates…