Milan, 6th January 1985. A new year has begun; with all of the resolutions, expectations, and hopes that come with it. There is no better time to start a new project. Technically, my contribution will be trivial. And, yet, the crème de la crème of the city and the press will all be present to witness me breaking ground on the site that will soon house the city’s new fine art museum.
As a titan of industry, image is key. You cannot pass up on an opportunity like this, even if (I’ll fully admit it) you don’t fully understand the project. Charitably, once you’ve made your generous but manageable contribution, you are immediately given a golden spade to celebrate your involvement. Here I stand, still lightly tanned from my recent vacation in the Caribbean, sharing the stage with various politicians, functionaries, donors, and artists. The mayor makes an attempt at humour. The universal sign for all to smile and pretend to be amused.
Thankfully, I planned ahead and I’m wearing a suit that always makes me smile. The suit is a double-breasted beauty in a 480g flannel from Fox Brothers. It’s like being draped in the world’s most elegant winter blanket. My tailor’s status as a genius is confirmed by the fact that he manages to make me look athletic. The shoulders are pronounced and the effect is enhanced by the full-bellied lapels. The low button stance extends the line from my shoulders right down to my waist. I decided I needed to add a bit of rakish charm to my look, so I opted for a 6X1 configuration.
To emphasise the effect of the long lines, the fabric is a subtle chalk stripe. To really make this suit stand there is no better option than a rich midnight blue, rather than the more traditional navy. In a sea of grey-suited functionaries, I’ll be sure to stand out. It shouldn’t go unnoticed just how much this city’s business leaders (and in that group I do, of course, include myself) do for all of its citizens.
If the suit is the big-ticket item, the shirt (in a light-blue twill) is more of a supporting act. The simple structure of the twill will provide little contrast to the flannel. Both fabrics are comfortable and work well together. For the collar, I went for a long spearpoint. It harmonises beautifully with the shape of the suit’s lapels. Obviously, a photo op is the perfect time to break out the golden cufflinks, so French cuffs are a must.
To crown (pun intended) the whole look off, my tie of choice is a grey cashmere. Like the rest of the outfit, it’s soft but also luxurious and regal. I’m ready for my close-up. For the full body shot, I need a good pair of shoes. Luckily, my good friend Korbinian Ludwig Hess made me a pair of black cap-toe oxfords for the occasion. Take me as an example. Understatement is the key to being a successful statement. JoLo/DC/MM