Simple and sophisticated, Tod's womenswear hits the catwalk alongside menswear for the first time
As usual, it was to Milan's Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea that Tod's invited its guests to witness the unveiling of its Spring/Summer 2019 ready-to-wear collection. With its vast white halls and expansive windows looking out to the parks of the Villa Reale, the space was particularly well chosen as a location for showcasing a very successful collection which masterfully mixed a simultaneously refined and laid-back elegance with Italian savoir-faire, all while assigning a starring role to leather.
Aside from a small selection of cotton articles peppered throughout the show, the latest collection from Tod's is 100% leather, using exotic skins in a wide range of pieces and applying as many different techniques to them as possible, including crochet! Even the scarf necklaces that added a touch of chic nonchalance to some looks were made from this material.
On the catwalk, a python jacket was worn with cream leather turn-ups, while an outfit combining a shirt with drawstring trousers in ultra soft nappa lambskin tried to pass itself off as cotton. Elsewhere, a zipped trench in chocolate-coloured leather was made to look like a dress and a shiny skirt was split up the front.
Among the most beautiful pieces was a pink polo dress knotted at the back like a scarf, which enchanted the brand's guests with its simplicity – and the whole thing was made out of aniline lambskin, finished with a soft, airy touch. Also worthy of note were the flowing Klein-blue dresses that glided down the catwalk and a series of white fringed skirts. Nappa shorts, suede trousers, striped jackets made from strips of different coloured leathers: there was something for everyone.
It's a shame that Tod's ready-to-wear collections receive so little recognition. Indeed, only a few pieces make it into stores, as the Italian luxury house prefers to concentrate on its core business of bags and shoes.
Vanessa D'Amico has been in charge of the brand's womenswear collections for four seasons. Having arrived at Tod's at the beginning of 2013 as the assistant of Alessandra Fachinetti, the brand's creative director at the time, the designer – French on her mother's side and Sicilian on her father's – has since taken over control of the design team. "I love working with leather as though it were fabric. And I've had the support of some fantastic craftsmen to do so," she told FashionNetwork.com backstage.
For the first time, the brand's womenswear collection hit the runway alongside its menswear line, with around 30 looks being shown for the former and 11 for the latter. Andrea Incontri, creative director at Tod's menswear since June 2014, presented a collection suited to a slick versatile man, oscillating between classic suits and casual pieces.
"It's a very French wardrobe, both simple and elegant. I thought it had been made for me! It's really superb," commented French actor Pierre Niney, who had slipped backstage to congratulate the designer. "It's a collection designed for the man who wants to express his own personality and tell his story," said Andrea Incontri – a man who is equally at ease in linen and suede suits or denim shirts and preppy, trimmed jackets.
It's a menswear collection which fits in perfectly with the boutique that Tod's has just opened on London's Sloane Street, which is laid out like an apartment with a living room and a bar. This new concept, meticulously combining marble, velvet and a warm colour palette, was conceived by French architect of Iranian and Egyptian descent, India Mahdavi, and is also set to be unveiled in the not too distant future in Paris and New York.
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