“Isabel Ettedgui relaunched Connolly about five years ago now and to my mind it’s even finer than it was the first time around. They’ve got long, close, deep, almost obsessive relationships with manufacturing and that translates into a different look and feel that’s not glaringly obvious, but if you know the stuff and you work with it—and you wear it—then you can tell. Plus they adopt a dynamic, extremely focused approach that delivers very nuanced finish and detail.
I don’t think that’s possible for the big brands. Connolly is showing its ‘Sporting’ collection, essentially driving gear, at Pitti: it’s not boundary breaking but it’s deeply luxe and casual. My utter fave piece is the Navy performance parka in membrane bonded wool: other best bits include the drop back wool car vest and driving sweatshirt with side zip funnel neck, a wicked little casual detail.”
“This isn’t a fashion brand, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. They are known for their Breton tops, fisherman jumpers, and other nautical knits. I wear their striped women’s vests which are a top-level styling secret. The Armor Lux Breton is what James Dean wore, and it’s what Brigitte Bardot wore—it’s totally authentic and the finishings and facings are really substantial. Mix it with something more fashion and it grounds the whole look: unfussy and wholesome stuff, also a bit cinematic, that makes you go wow.”