Long before the dandy on acid came to be, the gentleman you'd run into at the bi-yearly tradeshow Pitti Uomo possessed a certain character. Whether it's Nick Wooster's defining New York grit or, like Gabriele Pasini, inimitable with a rebellious flourish, gents of their ilk helped put modern tailoring in perspective; inspiring men to forge their own personal style identity.
But apart from his inspirational street style, Pasini also runs an eponymous menswear label in partnership with Lardini — the tailoring unit behind the suits one would pick up at brands such as Burberry, Etro and Valentino. While his singular blend of Italian finesse — coupled with English sensibilities — is a hallmark of his sharp tailoring, it's his personal eccentricities that have us intrigued. Here, the rulebreaker shares his sartorial must-haves, coupled with a side of style advice.
My style is... elegant, intense and very italian indeed.
My must-haves are... a jacket, a pair of jeans, and accessories such as rings or necklaces.
If I could raid anyone's wardrobe (dead or alive)... it'll have to be Willem Defoe. I love his natural attitude.
The one fashion item I treasure the most is... a pied-de-poule (houndstooth) jacket that reminds me of my beginnings in Naples.
A menswear fashion crime is to... don the wrong pair of shoes with a tailored suit. Sartorial rules are so important because we need to know them perfectly if we want to break them.
I bend the rules by... wearing a jacket with a v-neck T-shirt or very classical shoes without socks.
Nothing trumps Italian suiting because... there is no other menswear tradition as rich and refined as that. Italians grow up amongst beautiful and unique art pieces, and this aesthetic from a cultural perspective is part of our DNA more so than any other country.
My favourite fabrics for suits are... jacquard or pinstriped fabrics.
But for a gentleman who's new to the game... I'd suggest getting his suit made in Italy. It'll be elegant and of great quality — the most important factors when it comes to style.
Don't be afraid of colour as... they make all the difference in a wardrobe. Start with a pair of socks, before going on to your shirt, trousers and even a whole suit — it's imporant to feel comfortable in it.
Gabriele Pasini menswear is available at Closet, #03-10, Scotts Square.