Mantua-based Corneliani has been quietly making waves since the 1930s. Everything about the brand is refined—there are no flashy logos, no blinding brights, no “where would I ever wear that?” silhouettes. And while these things certainty have their place, as evidenced by the meteoric arc of Gucci’s truly outré designs over the past few years, this kind of measured restraint is a welcome breath of fresh air in the age of Instagram bait and logo mania. And now, the brand, which has long been a favorite of well-dressed Europeans (and in-the-know Americans), is making its strain of elegant tailoring easier to get your hands on than ever with the stateside launch of its e-commerce platform earlier this week.
“The U.S. is a market for us that is, let’s say, undeveloped right now,” explains Stefano Gaudioso Tramonte, the brand’s global style director, “and [making our website shoppable] is a powerful instrument to reach new people, it lets us tell our own story.” And this story is one of emotion, of quiet curiosity—there are no faceless models posing in front of white backdrops here. Instead, you are compelled to click on pieces like the innovative ID jacket (from $1,350) that appear simple on first glance, but reveal surprising complexities—like a detachable sporty knit chest piece—on closer inspection.
This kind of subtle luxury is exactly what the brand does best, “you can wear [our pieces] and look very elegant and very sophisticated” says Tramonte, “but at the same time they are understated, you are not showing off. Then when people approach, and touch your arm, they think ‘Wow! What is this?’” While this is an ethos that runs throughout everything the brand’s master tailors create—think unlined blue Prince of Wales check suits ($2,250); slim-fitting blue, white, and red striped shirts ($295) that you can wear year-round; and tissue-soft knit polos ($320)—it is the most stylishly apparent it the Archivo collection, a capsule that will be released alongside the full Fall/Winter 2018 lineup on the brand’s website and in its brick-and-mortar stores.
Instead of returning to the retro shapes and flamboyant patterns that many brands have mined over the past few seasons, Corneliani flipped back through its fabric archives. As Tramonte explains, the design team took inspiration from “a lot of old books with all the fabrics that we used 50 years ago, along with the [historic fabric] mills in the area that have really beautiful archives.” The result is pieces that range from sharply cut cashmere bombers ($2,195) to flowing, robe-style coats (both of which he counts as stand-outs in the collection), that reimagine these classic patterns and materials with new technologies, yarns, and colors. “They are updated,” he says “but at the same time, you see that there is really a history behind [each piece], there is an entire culture behind it.”
And while the thought of shrugging on an elegant tartan overcoat now is enough to make you start sweating, with pieces tailored this beautifully now at your fingertips (and a full made-to-measure service to launch later this year), it’s clear that your fall wardrobe is shaping up to look sharper than ever.