After a year of taking reprieve in sweatpants and slippers, it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with the transformative power of dressing up. We’re on the precipice of a summer to be remembered as we reconnect with friends and loved ones, and effortless yet sophisticated tailoring is just the thing to mark the occasion.
Many of us have spent the past year reconsidering what we value—an idea that extends to every aspect of our overstuffed lives, including our closets. What elevates a piece of clothing to feel special or important? What details turn an otherwise quotidian garment into a favorite we reach for time and again? The answer boils down to craftsmanship. No brand better embodies this than Brunello Cucinelli. A family-run business that specializes in timeless wardrobe staples made by the hands of Italy’s most skilled artisans, the label has cemented its exemplar reputation with apparel that’s practical, soulful and imbued with a craftsman’s touch. In other words, precisely the kind of clothes that feel right for right now: easy, elegant, essential.
To illustrate these principles, the brand enlisted the talents of filmmaker Virgilio Villoresi for a short movie about the joys of craftsmanship. Titled The Magic of Suits, and set in a tailor’s atelier, the film playfully demonstrates how the hands of experienced craftspeople breathe life into Cucinelli’s sartorial creations. “We view craftsmanship as art,” says Carolina Cucinelli, the brand’s co-president and co-creative director, who spearheaded the project. “For us, fit and combination of materials are the pillars that make sartorial garments contemporary, without losing sight of the canon of elegance.”
Today, social media and technology ask the world to move faster, but this whimsical movie reminds us that slow, traditional handwork makes for suits that endure. “I like the idea of a human being who is able to create a garment that combines balance and high craftsmanship,” says Cucinelli, “which we hope will last over time, and maybe be handed down to future generations.”
“This film is a constant oscillation between fantasy, tailoring and love,” says director Villoresi. “I wanted to stage the sartorial excellence of Cucinelli from an original, unique point of view,” he says of the dreamy, surreal aesthetic he conjured.
While its tone is fantastical, the film’s stop motion construction represents a feat of technical prowess, mirroring the way that a Cucinelli suit’s suave look is achieved by the painstaking work of many skilled artisans. For the film, Villoresi says that it took over 600 paper figures to be printed, cut out and photographed again and again to create the animation, a process he calls “obsessive-compulsive motion.”
His meticulousness paid off, as the movie looks and feels every bit as handcrafted as a Cucinelli jacket. “Making handmade films is much more satisfying for me than making them on a computer, a bit like when a child imagines a parallel world and creates it with their own hands,” Villoresi says. The same could be said of suits: hand-tailoring has nuance and sophistication that no machine can replicate.
As we prepare to reemerge, the dress code calls for refined clothing in which you can feel confident. The drawstring waists and tees of the past year have their place, but now it’s about a return to elegance. “I believe we all have a greater desire to get back to dressing well,” says Cucinelli, noting that the very best modern tailoring “makes us feel good at all times of our day, without sacrificing comfort.”
That’s the great beauty of a Cucinelli suit: Worn formally or casually, at the office or off-duty, it’s always appropriate. Walking into those first post-pandemic events wearing a quietly exceptional suit, you’ll undoubtedly make an impression—that’s the sort of spell cast by Brunello Cucinelli.