Fashion Magazine

Smalto FW12

By Dieworkwear @dieworkwear

Parisian fashion house Smalto released some images of their Fall-Winter 2012-2013 collection recently. Pictured here is a range of ready-to-wear suits, odd jackets, and coats, many of which feature the signature cran necker that the house’s founder, Francesco Smalto, and many other Parisian tailors have become known for. The cran necker is a stylistic detail where the stitching on the jacket’s collar and lapel veers sharply upward at an obtuse angle, thus forming a more dramatically upward looking notch. This contrasts with traditional English and American lapels, where the same stitching continues along a more or less fluid line from the top of the collar down to the lower half of the notch, thus making the notch a bit more “open mouthed.” You can see an example of the cran necker in the last photo below, which show President Chirac wearing a blue jacket in this style, or in this video of Gay Talese, who is shown wearing a tan Smalto coat. 

As said earlier, Smalto was formed by Francesco Smalto, an Italian tailor who immigrated to France during the 1950s in order to work for a few fabled Parisian tailoring houses. This included a relatively short stint at Cristiani before he became a cutter for Camps, who, at the time, was said to be every Parisian man’s tailor. In the 1962, after a short trip to New York City, Smalto decided to establish his own company on Rue la Boétie, where he only sold made-to-measure suits. By 1967, he introduced a ready-to-wear and accessories collection. 

As you can see below, Smalto has a very Continental style. The jackets are somewhat fitted and the lapels give off a certain French rakishness. The quality here is also unsurpassed, at least among ready-to-wear lines. The handwork alone, for example, is perhaps the best I’ve seen anywhere. Not only are the shoulder pads handmade and the chests padstitched by hand, but the pockets and edge taping are completely hand sewn as well. You can see the amount of handwork that goes into these pieces in the video below, which is one of the rare cases where such a film is actually accurate and not just for marketing purposes. This is truly beautiful stuff, both inside and out. 

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12

Smalto FW12


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