Those who have nipped by the benevolent beak of Pellicano, or brands mining a similar seam, might be termed, in the broadest sense of the world, a movement – or maybe a tendency, a tribe, a group of people for whom one of the quests while we’re passing through this planet is the acquisition of taste.
We are engaged in an almost certainly vain attempt to live out the promise that modern society dangles tantalisingly in front of us but out of the reach of many – that the best of what is produced by mankind might one day be available to all of mankind.
A century ago the very notion – that quality might be available to the masses – was ridiculous. We are, then, rooted in a time and a place – the Welfare State world of unparalleled opportunity and security, an inclusive ethic which allowed us to be both British and cosmopolitan, taking influences and molding them into, as the Pellicano would put it, into a blend of Italian style and British swagger.
We have consistently prized the modern and the streamlined. Looking back, I’m increasingly grateful for having grown up in a New Town. It was a top place to be a kid, and a dispiriting one to be an adolescent. In hindsight I can see that the good outweighed the bad. No pokey dark old buildings, just concrete and glass that was light and open. And fewer of the fuddy duddy traditions of olde England. I can now see that a genuine attempt was being made to form brave new citizens for the shiny Welfare State reality. In New Town schools, for example, we lived in a bright and airy world in which gender equality was the norm and an aim to strive for.
But amid all the new, the modern and the streamlined, there lies in the heart of all Pellicanos an immense respect, almost reverence, for an aspect of the old world which can be summed up in one word – craft.
When I survey my collection of Pellicano shirts – 11 at last count – I appreciate the deep collars and the seductive cotton and the stitching. It is something hand made in Italy – fatto a mano in Puglia no less – which is quietly shouting its authenticity, proudly proclaiming itself as the consequence of wisdom and skill and love for the process, all of which have been picked up and handed down over the course of the decades. So it was when Marcelo Mastroianni wandered his cool way down the Via Veneto, and so it is today.
In an age of fast fashion and instant solutions, long live the craftsmen and women! May all involved in the making of such fine garments emerge unscathed and unbowed from the shocks of the corona virus, that their craft may live on and illuminate us in our quest for the acquisition of taste.
By Tim Vickery – BBC South American Football Expert and Eternal Modernista
Follow Tim on Twitter @tim_vickery
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