La Dolce Vita, 1960: in Federico Fellini’s cinematic masterpiece, Marcello Mastroianni as Marcello Rubini gazes at the camera, dressed in a dark single-breasted suit with narrow lapels, cigarette hanging loosely in one hand. Cut close to his body and simple in its embellishment, the suit not only defined the sartorial spirit of the time, but came to represent a new type of European male forged after the rigid constraints of two world wars.
For those seeking to replicate Mastroianni’s look, Brioni is a good place to start. Founded in Rome in 1945, Brioni quickly became a byword for Italian glamour, spearheading the aforementioned, sleek silhouette of the decade. It was hailed by Life magazine as the “Dior of men’s clothing”, conjuring a new look for men that rippled across the continent. Whereas Ivy League suits favoured conservatism and comfort, the Italian cut was form-fitting and lent itself well to the irresistible playboys of the silver screen. Henry Fonda, Clark Gable and John Wayne were among Hollywood actors that visited the Brioni’s Via Barberini atelier in Rome for a custom suit.
Fast forward to 2020 and Brioni continues to show the Hollywood press how to do red carpet style, as demonstrated by Brad Pitt and his Golden Globes appearance below.
Building upon its strong heritage, Brioni has created a beautiful space for gentlemen in the heart of Mayfair. Conceived as the ‘proud residence of a Roman man’, Brioni’s newly reopened store complements its sartorial offerings perfectly. With a selection of ready-to-wear, made to order denim and of course, bespoke tailoring, the historic brand’s classic yet contemporary DNA should appeal to any discerning gentleman. Designed by London-based architecture studio P. Joseph and set within an opulent 18th Century Georgian townhouse at No. 32 Bruton Street, several details reveal its unmistakable Italian heritage. A floor mosaic inspired by the Pantheon has been uncovered and decorative plasterwork has been restored to its former glory, complimented by tuff stone and travertine sourced from an ancient Bernini quarry. Against this sober canvas, a curated collection of Italian furniture and tapestry from the 50s and 60s quietly occupy the space.
Federico Fellini and friends would certainly approve.
32 Bruton Street, W1J 6QT; brioni.com