In the twenty-five years since Massimo Piombo started his career as a designer, the state of Italian menswear in America has evolved from culty to commonplace. Although, as terms such as spalla camicia, and gorge height have become so standard that we toss them around without a second thought, I often feel like the actual craft behind these jackets and suits goes unappreciated. I’ll admit that, even as I wrote my initial article on MP di Massimo Piombo a couple months back, I didn’t really think twice about the fact that MP jacket’s featured hand-sewn buttonholes, or were entirely made by hand in Kiton’s factories, or that Piombo had sourced products from across the world for these jackets. Which is why, I was more than appreciative this past week, when the good people at Mr Porter offered a chance for me to check out their stock of MP di Massimo Piombo first hand.
MP’s tailoring captures what I love most about unstructured jackets, and no it’s not the holy soft shoulder (although MP does nail that), or the lack of lining for a better drape off the rack, it’s really the fabrics themselves that make the “unstructured” term more than just a reflection of the jacket’s construction. MP’s strength quite literally lies in the hand. Grabbing hold of their silk houndstooth jacket, or their slub linen blazer, it would be impossible not to recognize what it is that sets MP apart. This is where the brand’s sourcing prowess comes into play with cotton from Ethiopia, silk from France, and wool from Nepal just to name a few. The textures are unique, not just between each jacket, but on a larger level, with some of the most interesting tonal qualities I’ve ever seen from any collection. Of course, with distinction comes a heavy price tag (MP’s jackets on Mr Porter hover around the two thousand dollar range) but for some of the finest soft-casual jackets out there, I’d say it’s worth it. As for me though, I’ll be sticking with the fifty dollar pocket squares.