Essentially, it’s all about essentials.
In partnership with: Luca Faloni
here’s linen, and then there’s the sort of linen that Luca Faloni’s collections are made from. The Italian menswear brand uses only prime quality, 100 per cent pure linen – a soft, light, breathable material that comes into its own during summer.
Despite its many qualities – it is 35 per cent stronger than cotton and hypoallergenic, meaning that sweat is less likely to break down its fibres – linen remains a material rarely used in menswear, largely down to the level of expertise needed to work with the material.
By partnering with family-run weaving mills in northern Italy – some of the oldest examples of their kind in the country – Luca Faloni is able to leverage skills that have been passed down through generations. The result is a linen collection defined by attention to detail – ‘giglio’ stitching, mother of pearl buttons and ‘Paramontura’ collars are just some of the brand’s sartorial signatures.
Luca Faloni’s commitment to using only premium linen feeds into a wider objective – to manufacture, at a fair price, superior-quality, durable products that will endure season after season. The brand’s linen shirts, trousers and polos, for example, have been designed to become softer and silkier over time, though, crucially, not to fade, even after many washes. The aim, says the brand’s eponymous founder, is to slow down fast fashion by encouraging us to buy less, and buy better.
Faloni, who established his clothing brand in 2014, was born in Turin. Growing up in a culture that celebrated artisanal craftsmanship and quality fabrics, it was only when Faloni moved abroad that he discovered that the clothing he took for granted was difficult to find elsewhere. Luca Faloni, the brand, was founded out of frustration – and a desire to make Italian style and sartorial expertise accessible around the world.
Seven years after its launch, Luca Faloni boasts a brace of stores in London – one in St. James’s, Piccadilly, the other on Marylebone High Street. Inside, alongside the brand’s signature linen shirt collection, you’ll find silk-cashmere sweaters woven by Cariaggi, widely regarded as the most prestigious yarn spinner in the world; brushed cotton polos from renowned shirtmaker Grandi & Rubinelli; and textured piqué cotton shirts milled in Brescia.
There’s also Luca Faloni’s Spring 21 collection, which sees a range of key pieces reimagined through the natural colour palette of the Tuscan landscape. Whether or not we get to escape to the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea this year remains to be seen, but wherever summer takes you Luca Faloni’s Amalfi silk-cotton polo shirt promises to keep you covered for a variety of occasions. Dress up the polo with the brand’s lightweight cotton chinos and fine silk-cashmere zip cardigan; or keep things casual by coupling it with a pair Panarea linen-cotton shorts.
Other summer-ready staples include the brand’s Portofino linen shirt, handcrafted in Bergamo and Brescia and featuring mother-of-pearl buttons, and its ultra-soft silk-cashmere zip cardigan, which combines a funnel neck with a two-way zip, so that the piece can be layered over a shirt or T-shirt.
To celebrate the reopening of its London stores, Luca Faloni has curated a selection of limited-edition Terry O'Neill prints that are available to buy at both the brand’s Marylebone and St. James’s boutiques.
Iconic images include David Bowie for Diamond Dogs, which famously sees the singer-songwriter pose with a barking Great Dane while working on the artwork of his 1974 album, Diamond Dogs, and an exclusive print of Robert Redford posing in aviator sunglasses on his Yamaha motorcycle from 1975.
Elsewhere, you’ll find wall space dedicated to some of the 21st century’s most celebrated female actors. A contemplative Audrey Hepburn is captured with a dove perched on her shoulder in 1966, while a candid Brigitte Bardot is caught with a cigarette in hand on the set of Les Petroleuses, or The Legend of Frenchie King, in 1971 – in what would become one of O’Neill’s most lauded photographs.
“I’m a reportage photographer, and I just like fading into the background,” O’Neill once said of his snapshot-style of photography. “The more discrete you are the better off you are.”
It’s a maxim that rings true in the elegant, timeless collections at Luca Faloni.
107-108 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RU, 02034684710; 192 Piccadilly, St. James's, W1J 9EU, 02034684710, lucafaloni.com