Walter Chiapponi is steering Tod’s from the casual, bourgeois Italian lifestyle of its beginnings into a more elevated, modern, and feminine version of itself. As he sees it, it’s a transition not requiring any radical makeover, rather a step-by-step updating approach. Today, revamping pedigreed brands is a work similar to that of a skilled plastic surgeon: make the face look fresher without warping its best features.
For pre-fall he went for a concise “sartorial manipulation,” as he called it, of the trench coat, stretching its classic wardrobe-staple nature into a series of alternative incarnations. “What I find interesting from a design standpoint is giving sportswear and casual wear a sort of couture spirit,” he said, “introducing a twist of sensuality and glamour into functional outerwear.” To that end, he morphed the trench into a cropped, tight-fitted bomber in buttery-soft nappa leather, or into a field jacket cinched at the waist, paired to a matching elongated shirt to give it a onesie effect.
Elsewhere, the trench was deconstructed into a robe manteau, or given a military flavor, or again transformed into an elegant overcoat. To further elevate the sensuous feel Chiapponi is after, high-quality fabrics had a tactile feel, like that nappa leather, rubberized cotton, and soft brushed wools; the execution was “as accurate as that of an evening dress,” he said, pointing out the sartorial technicalities that gave character to each of the pieces, like the stitching referencing the masculine tailoring of the ’70s, or the almost invisible interlocking seams. The rich palette of orange, deep red, and turquoise also highlighted the designer’s take on what he described as a more “sensual, human, and feminine identity for Tod’s.”