A Dad in California: Styling with Davide of Ghiaia

Monday, November 28th 2022
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In the past year Davide Baroncini, of knitwear brand Ghiaia, has been putting together and posting some looks that really resonate with me. 

Comfortable and relaxed, but with a really high taste level, they seem a long way from both the hype-driven and overly tight looks elsewhere. They’re deceptively simple: a few colours, classic pieces, but put together in a way that feels fresh and easy.

I first interviewed Davide three years ago, soon after Ghiaia launched, but we didn't have a chance to talk style - indeed, back then he didn’t post much about it, as his whole collection was sold through one department store and there was no e-commerce to promote. 

So we arranged a time to talk over video, to discuss his style and what influences those looks. 

Davide was in his house in California, where his wife and family had recently moved into, and actually the house his wife had grown up in. We spent a good few minutes talking about daughters and our respective families as a result, before getting into clothes. 

“Both those things deeply affect how I dress though,” he says. “Moving to California was a big influence, as was being a father.

“In the US it’s much more of a thing to be a ‘Dad’. In Milan or elsewhere in Italy this doesn’t really happen. Here a dad has a different persona - he plays more, he does everything. The clothes reflect the fact I’m always running around picking things up, or playing with them.

Growing older makes you more relaxed too, he says, and I agree. 

“When you’re young you’re so uncertain about everything - you need clothes to be perfect to have confidence in them,” Davide says.

“Professionally I grew up in Milano, and there it was particularly cruel. You’d show up to work, or to a family event, and if you weren’t dressed right you’d get a metaphorical slap in the face with a glove: ‘What’s that you’re wearing? What’s that button doing? Come on, get it together’. Everyone knew the right way to dress, and they weren’t afraid to tell others off.”

 

It feels a long way from Davide’s sunny TV room, which is where the look above was shot. What does that particular combination mean to him?

“This one feels like late summer, early autumn,” he says. “And it’s the kind of outfit I’ll wear all day long. I’m more comfortable with that now, living in America - I’ll go to the store in the morning, come back and work, go and see friends in the evening. In Italy I’d change but not here.”

The knit is Ghiaia’s cricket cardigan, quite loose and with a deliberately deep opening. The coat is there less for warmth (it’s California after all) and more just to have something, to have something. 

“You know that feeling when you leave the house and feel you need something in your hands? Or like a politician, that needs to hold a pen or a piece of paper when they’re making a point. This is the same, the coat is something to have over the shoulders, or to carry. I feel more comfortable that way.”

“Oh and if you like the coat, watch Boomerang with Eddie Murphy. Man he looks good in that film.”

 

There’s a fair amount of Armani in Boomerang, and this second outfit feels particularly Armani. 

“Giorgio wears navy on navy a lot, and it’s always elegant, always really clean. I always like to separate the two with a belt though.”

The V-neck knit is cotton, and this is relevant. “We sell cashmere and we sell cotton, but there’s something about a cotton knit that looks nice and old - elegantly aged - as soon as you put it on. Nothing looks more relaxed to me. 

“I could do a day meeting in this, and roll my sleeves up; but wear it in the evening as well, maybe comb my hair back. Also I’m about 40 pounds overweight right now, so anything that hides the weight is good! Baggy pants and a sweater are the best.”

 

These outfits are ones I picked out from Davide’s feed because I liked them personally, or because I felt there was something unusual there to explore. 

With the outfit above, I found the red and yellow interesting - they look great together, but the combination isn’t that classic. It’s not something I’d naturally do. 

“You know what works there? The dustiness of the materials. If that were a silky knit or a superfine polo, it wouldn’t work. But they both look soft, washed out. 

“That’s probably the greatest skill of a yarn supplier - their ability to colour the yarns in very specific ways. It’s really hard. It can change a knit from looking cheap and shiny, to dusty and deep.

“I’d say that apart from their harmoniousness - whether they’re both warm or cold - this is the most important thing for me in putting colours together.”

The overall look, for Davide, is Steve McQueen: practical, easy, riding his bike around the coast and then swimming in the sea. An elderly neighbour in Pasadena tells a story of seeing McQueen do just that. 

Davide was obsessed with McQueen as a kid, and illustrates with a different story, of riding his Triumph from Milan to Amsterdam over a weekend, to start a job with Suit Supply. He arrived at 3am, freezing cold, almost hypothermic. It was the stupidest thing he’s ever done - but he felt like McQueen.

 

This next outfit is someone rather different. “This is a rich dude, LA all day long. He doesn’t give a fuck. He’s old money, done this forever, and genuinely doesn’t care,” says Davide. “The line between trying very hard and not trying at all, in a look, is very thin. But this guy legitimately doesn’t.”

He continues: “There aren’t many cities in the world where you can wear this. If you wore it in Milan, people would think you were crazy, or a tourist. But if you come to LA you’ll see a guy like this every day - on Paradise Cove in Malibu, popping out of a vintage Speedster with a big hairy dog.

“The look is rather messy, but it’s very conservative too - a navy crewneck, white shorts, camel coat. It’s all about the attitude, wearing a long coat over short shorts just because you need something in the morning.

“It can be quite chill here actually, by the water, even in the summer. Thank God, or I wouldn’t sell anything from May to September”

If you like these kinds of outfits as much as I do, the best way to see them all is actually on the shop page of the Ghiaia website here

 

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Alex

Feeling like Steve McQueen while doing “the stupidest thing I’ve ever done” certainly feels like a fitting tribute to a talented actor who is totally undeserving of the adulation that’s heaped upon him among the style-guy circle. Some interesting outfits and stories to go with them. How much more try-hard can an outfit be? The answer, according to the penultimate look, is none. None more try-hard. It’s going to drive the regular commenters mad.

Alex

On the outfit – I completely agree that there are things to take from it, and yes I’m sure on the right person, in the right context, it would be perfectly fine. However, I’d argue that look doesn’t work at all in the context Davide is arguing – the very act of attempting to put together a look like that with the aim of it being a study in not looking “try hard” as Davide puts it circles it right back around to being a total cliche for 99 percent of people attempting to pull this off as a “thrown together look”.

Georgios

I really like McQueen look cause he managed to always look if not good at least better than most now. Of course he was a star, very good looking, with a great body and face and most of us lack some or many of these things that made his looks so nice.

Gary

It was the genuine and honest simplicity that made McQueen so stylish, the total opposite of the icons who are worshipped by the so-called “internet gentlemen”. He was a real racer and his own man.

Alex

McQueen was a man like any, plagued with insecurities and desperate to fit into the time’s idea of what masculinity represented, often manifesting in reprehensible behaviour to others. Saying he represented “genuine and honest simplicity” is a basic take on a highly mercurial figure. The need to strip him of those more troubling characteristics (which are what make him such a magnetic screen presence) to fit into this idea of him being ‘a good old boy who wore clothes with total authenticity and not a shred of doubt about his place in the world’ is the aspect that I find most troubling when he’s brought up in these sorts of discussions. It represents a lack of interest in the person as anything other than a clothes horse. At any rate, I imagine Simon would prefer this thread not to get completely sidetracked by this conversation, so I won’t go on about it.

And

I will never understand the craze for McQueen. But then again I didn’t live the the period.
I do find it a bit comical that it seems, in our very niche interest, people tend to go to the deepest end only to find…nothing, and come back decreeing that nothing matters anyway except attitude and stylishness (or lack thereof) by association.
Was it really all in vain?

Felix

I like some of these outfits from a styling point of view – but taken for themselves the clothes are overpriced basics, and tbh you can recreate these looks easily from J. Crew. But kudos to him if he manages to sell 500 USD cotton sweaters to Californian dads.

And

agree, last time the brand was mentioned on PS, I thought the looks were simple and effective, so I looked at their online store. Then saw the prices and closed the tab. Sure nice clean styling, quality etc etc, but when things cost sometimes almost an order of magnitude more than equally good items from reputable makers, you are just yet another brand selling luxury italian branding itself, to much richer (than us italians) people. In other words, just another Brunello Cucinelli.
I admit I am a bit tired of seeing 900€ cachemire hoodies and 600€ canvas shoes. But such is life, I guess. Simon will probably respond (actually, I’ve just realized he indeed has) that we can be inspired by the looks without buying anything from Ghiaia, which I guess is true.

And

I actually did not know, or rather perhaps had forgot from your previous article, that he came from Cucinelli. Though it kind of speaks for itself that the similarity was so immediate in my mind.
I suppose I would agree the styling is better, though it’s pretty easy when Cucinelli still has models wearing tailoring that would fit someone 30cm shorter than they are, while Ghiaia shows no tailoring at all as far as I could find. I do like to finally see some wider legs after the suffocating trend of skinny ankles which unfortunately is still the norm in Italy, at least as far as menswear goes.
There’s also a bit more interesting yellow and red accents which, though nothing new by any means, still feels refreshing if one just came out from a Cucinelli look book convinced that all colours not in shades of beige had been outlawed.

zo

you know i find shocking, is the recent price hike at Saman Amel. im sure they have their (very valid) reasons, but gosh its a horrendous price hike.

Phil

@zo – can you give an example of this price hike? Are you referring to the RTW in their online shop or MTM pricing?

JB

I’m fairly sure what ZO means are trousers in their online shop being 700 or so, whereas they used to be 4-500. I’ve no insight to whether prices have gone up equally in the MTM offering, but I was equally surprised to see some of the prices. But as ever, nobody is forcing anyone to purchase.

Phil

I’ve ordered MTM from SA for a couple of years, and I think trousers have gone from starting at €600 to starting at €700 during that time.
Suits / Jackets seem to have increased more substantially. The Toscana line now appears to cost what The Napoli line did a year ago. A Toscana suit used to be about €2000, and now the jacket alone is about €2500. All depending on fabric choice, of course. Still worth it, IMO.

Do you guys see this cost increase with other bespoke and MTM makers as well?

Ram

I got the impression that SA is pivoting from a tailoring house to something more akin to a luxury fashion label that is mostly MTO/M.

When I visited them, they were talking about just how much they’re focused on wardrobe management and it gave the impression that there are clients coming in with budgets north of 10k and asking them how they would start with that. It’s perhaps also reflected in their affinity for pure cashmere from Loro Piana and such.

Considering the fashion label like pricing of their jeans on Mr. P, I felt they were keen to be alongside the likes of Purple Label, Brioni, Tom Ford etc

2c

I am not familiar with Saman Amel but their price increases (cited above) doesn’t look wrong to me and is in line with what a responsible business should be putting through.
To put it into context, inflation is 10%+ in Europe
EUR/ GBP / SEK is down 5-15% versus USD, which is what most yarns are priced in.
There has also been persistent supply chain issues in high end manufacturing, which means overall, cost prices are running c. 20-25% higher
Retailers that aren’t putting price increases through are likely pressuring their suppliers (look at Boohoo and M&S delaying deliveries and extending payment terms). I don’t think anyone wants European luxury garment manufacturing under any further pressure if we still want this shrinking industry to be around in a decade.

Ram

I’m not too familiar with how their pricing has evolved but I believe most of this increase happened already before the recent inflation? They were always at the priciest end of MTM though admittedly their product and styling stand out.

Also, I believe any increase in yarn prices that you cited must be on top of the basic charge. That is usually passed on to the customer in any tailoring commission.

zo

RTW and MTM both. I am sure there are factors that justify the price hike…doesnt make it any less painful for the consumer. You just have to look at their RTW offering on Mr Porter (previous season and current season) to see how the prices have changed. And obviously the prices on their RTW website too. I reckon what RAM says is correct…they’re positioning themselves as a luxury fashion label, their lookbooks, styling, website etc, indicate it.

Otto

Now that is an interesting story. I’d love to see the clothes on a person, because from the photos I just cannot imagine the look in real life. E.g., the outfit with the cricket cardigan is either very fusty (beige-neutral all over, cardigan, sandals with socks) or very relaxed.

Alex

Most of these are straight out of the McQueen/Kennedy playbook. A Google image search will provide plenty of examples of these types of looks in the wild.

Paul

the style is nice – a more wearable version of cuccinelli. one side point though, the website is horrific for actually buying anything.
i liked the look of one of the jackets but after a few minutes of scrolling random outfits with no clue which one was for sale until i hovered, i gave up.

Eric Twardzik

Very nice. I’ll be a first-time father next year and have been anticipating how I might continue to dress more casually but in ways I still find interesting and enjoyable (even if I’m parked at home all day). While it may not necessarily be Ghiaia there’s good inspiration to be gleaned-I feel that it follows a similar line to modern Drake’s, though in this case a bit less eccentric.

Peter Hall

Certainly enough here for me to mix and match. I like the navy crew and the faded red.
I think you require a touch of California sun to appreciate them at their best, but the 50s vibe is one I can work with for inspiration. Particularly enjoy yellow.
I get a similar vibe when I feel a collar on my neck-I know I’m dressed.

Nicholas

In my younger and more impressionable days I bought Cucinelli. The worst case of buyer’s remorse I have ever suffered.

Andreas

Just when I thought that all the watch blogs couldn’t cram any more Steve McQueen and Paul Newman down my throat, I read this. And yeah, I’m pretty sure a guy who “genuinely isn’t trying at all” wouldn’t buy and wear expensive clothes from an obscure brand only known to people who most defintely try very hard.

Tim

Living in Southern California, I think these looks personify the relaxed and casual style of the region. Yes the price points are high, but he’s marketing to an upscale mature client Clearly, there is a customer who will pay more for quality and a look that he wants to embrace
Some of the comments seem a bit harsh.

Evan

The comments here have been strange. Been following the brand for a a while and love the styling and Davide himself is a great follow on IG. Sure the pieces are expensive (out of my personal budget at this stage i My life), but i feel the same people balking at the prices are the same who see no problem with a $100 tee, or multiple hundreds on raw denim jeans or a scarf. Im not judging those decisions either but the lack of self awareness is strange. Looking forward to seeing Ghiaia grow

William Kazak

Looking at these examples, and having stayed in Southern California for my first year of college, it seems to me these ensembles are ideas of what someone might choose to wear. Milano translated, so to speak.

Simon H

I like the yellow coat – the fasteners look very well executed. I didn’t see it for sale though? I like the hover over feature where you can see different layering’s – but agree with the comment already made that it is very difficult to visualize without seeing it worn by an actual human, especially the subtleties and fit of these particular garments.
I find one of the dangers of this kind of dressing is that I often find myself spending a lot yet feeling like I don’t look quite as good as friends who’ve executed a similar look through astute vintage shopping! Not everyone has time to do this though and I suppose that is what the premium is for!

Nikolai

The coat looks like it could be from Fays

Henry82

I agree that the looks are good/interesting. I get a slight vintage vibe (80s/90s nautical/riviera looks – which I presume they are aiming for) – however, like others have mentioned I find the pricing rather ridiculous. Youd get 25% VAT + possible import duties on top of the prices listed when ordering to europe.That being said - I find its rather difficult actually to find e.g. a good RTW navy blue cotton crew neck sweater and I`d like to know where such “basics” could be found!? Preferably from easily accessible retailers that have several physical shops spread around in european cities!

Martins

You mean ralph lauren pima cotton ones?

Martins

Pima cotton is not model but how Ralph Lauren calls that particular cotton. especially until last year’s prices it was my to go cotton knitwear for tx maxx prices.

Markus

I have a grey and navy blue cotton sweater from Asket (ordered online and called “The Cotton Sweater”), which I very much like. Because the price is under EUR 100, not much can go wrong.

And

There’s a lot of brands selling cotton knitted t-shirts, which was my discovery of the year definitely, and that I would recommend over heavy cotton l/s knits anyway, much more wearable in summer/spring imho.
I have 2 heavy ones from yeossal, yes unfortunately had to pay vat & duties, plus 2 very light ones from Gran Sasso. Cavour and Berg&Berg also stock some.

Felix
Matt H

If I wanted to emulate the looks, I (as an online shopper) would go straight to Yoox and look at products from Drumohr and perhaps also Cruciani, Malo and Gran Sasso. All do luxury cashmere and silk items but also cotton knits including heavier ones. Drumohr especially will have items that fit the look.

Randall

I’m probably not telling you anything you didn’t know already but Davide’s shop in Pasadena is in a London-styled arcade. It’s literally minutes away from Wellema Hatters, the Rose Bowl (w. its famous flea market) and the Huntington Library & Gardens with its Gainsborough’s and what not.

Randall

I neglected to mention Freenote Cloth in nearby Highland Park, they cut and sew denim and workwear locally. Let me know if you need a Sherpa when you visit LA.

Eric Michel

Nice dog

Peter

Love these looks – managing to make such casual simplicity interesting and subtly cool in a way that feels simultaneously classic yet still a bit unexpected. Respect for Davide’s styling skill and taste!

Roddy

I love the looks with more contrast – the more monochrome/ beige ones don’t appeal really, They remind me of the breaking bad beige party. But I can see they work!

The coat with the shorts is fun – in winter here in the UK I’ll often chuck on a long PWVC coat over shorts to pick up a croissant and a pint of milk after a Saturday morning run in December. Keeps my legs warm without the faff of having to pull on track suit bottoms

Mischief

The casual elegance seems to fit in nicely with the California vibe and mild climate. (I say this as someone who grew up there prior to moving to the Old World). Perfect for someone in Napa, Malibu or Santa Barbara with a vintage Speedster who has outgrown (SoCal-born) Vans shoes, though perhaps it will look out of place in Paris, Berlin or Madrid. Of course, I would not have predicted 5 years ago that middle-aged men in these cities would be wearing trainers, so one never knows…

AA

Simon,
thanks for informing the community about the variety of brands, but to be honest, this one is not so interesting. Looks very overpriced for what it is, and thr storyline behind the brand is not that inspiring. The looks themselves are also quite dull. Looks like a maketing exercise, not real craft or art.
It would be great to know of real artisans and creators, especially from “developing markets” (Latin America, Asia, Africa). I feel those unsung heroes are more athentic, more creative, they deserve to be known. For example, I have tried various high end knitwrar brands (Fedeli cashmere, Drumohr, Della Ciana, Inis Meain, etc.), but the pieces I cherish the most are tje highest quality alpaca sweaters from Kuna (firmerly known as Alpaca 111) from Peru.
Also, could be intetesting to read about Artknit of Italy.

Ram

I really do admire the effortless styling. It’s not easy to achieve. Thanks for introducing this.

On the topic of pricing though, I would be curious to see an article on how much to expect to spend on an item, let’s say cashmere crewneck jumpers in a standard 2-ply weight if you want to reach a certain quality plateau.

I am bringing this up because I feel that quality and pricing is a double-edged thing. You could always point to Uniqlo and say anyone who is shelling out twice that amount is just being ridiculous or terribly fussy. On the other hand, there are many brands who keep charging higher and higher within the cosied wrappings of the quality label that becomes so hard to judge. Is that just different or actually better in some well defined way; does it have to cost that much more? I know you have mentioned the law of diminishing returns but I have missed something more comprehensive.

Just now for instance Rubato has released some cashmere knitwear, which to my understanding is a slightly modified William Lockie selection but the prices are twice as much. Is the idea to compete with LVMH margins or did I miss something I wondered.

Ram

Thank you Simon for taking the time to open these up. If I may further comment on them:

— I have read your article on UNIQLO and it certainly didn’t give me the impression that you concluded them as poor quality. I have some odd pieces from them, mostly from student years, which have still stood up pretty well. The finishing and cuts are pretty basic but could you really call them poor quality?

— I completely agree on that point though I think there are brands which just have inefficient processes or very high running costs because of their own lifestyles, approaches towards things which don’t justify the price. It’s an assumption that’s hard to prove or disprove. I suppose with Adret, for instance you can see that. On the other hand I could also see a brand like S E H Kelly selling at 2x if they want to and justify the price.

— Might I ask what exactly is so unique about Rubato cashmere knitwear to justify that cost. I am not sure the materials are unique. The cut certainly is different but provided that some brands do offer varying lengths and boxier fits, does that necessarily cost so much or is it more like with some Swiss watch companies where it’s a matter of what they can charge. I couldn’t comment on any particular details Rubato might have. But in a way everyone from Cos to Gobi Cashmere does offer a variety of models which could be considered unique. My Johnston’s cashmere jumper with a v-neck had a rather boxy cut too.

Sorry about the long comment, I just wanted to be as clear as possible in order to establish what I am trying to discern.

Ram

Thank you again for taking the time to this! Just a few clarifications on my part that I hope offers some insight for your future articles.

— Regarding Uniqlo I quite agree that it’s well below the refinement and craft level of things you usually cover here and the basic cardigans etc are not the most interesting designs.
But when using words like ‘poor’ I try to be a little more objective like, ‘poor’ is something that spills so terribly after a few wears or starts tearing up soon. ‘Decent’ is something that lasts a bit longer and has a decent make. And neither should leave colour casts.
Anything above it could be varying levels of luxury, extremely durable craftsmanship etc. Something could also have great design and poor quality of make & finishing like a Must de Cartier from the 70s to 90s. Otherwise, if every flannel shirt is compared to bespoke options at the highest level of craft, I feel that it becomes unhelpful. My Muji flannel shirt is by no means of poor quality in my eyes but it’s not any high level of craft or design either. It works perfectly for it’s purpose.
— Thanks for your insight on this topic, I trust you on this. Just that from the outside, without much understanding of the people, it just looks unconvincing sometimes. And I meant to put Adret as the example of a brand where I could immediately see where the price comes from and I have never suspected them of profiteering. Rubato on the other hand, just has an online store and none of these is obvious.
— And thanks for further clarification on the Rubato cashmere products. One reason for this scepticism was also the fact that their trousers also seemed surprisingly pricey when I compare to the likes of Studio D’artisan and Momotaro. I found it hard to believe it could be much better in quality, if even slightly. Perhaps it’s the design and exclusive materials that lead to this.
But that’s harder to evaluate like you said. There is a lot of design in products from the Japanese brands too, perhaps more in many cases. The materials are often unique as well. The runs must be bigger. But does that really explain the prices? I suppose it then just becomes a very subjective evaluation of how much one appreciates something enough to pay a certain amount and not much to do with any objective quality/design to price comparison.
Lastly I’m puzzled by what you meant that Johnston’s and such spend no time on design. I think whether or not one likes the outcome, most brands do spend some time on design, even Uniqlo does it with their U range. In my personal experience, the camelhair cardigan from Lockie had a very particular design, the Jamieson’s striped cardigan had a particular drop shoulder, roomy design and please also see the red sweater I was referring to from Johnston’s. I dislike their styling and the lower v-neck but it’s an uncommon and in my eyes, gorgeous statement piece in 3ply.

201809-colour-red-02.jpg
Ram

Thank you, that makes a lot of sense. I can clearly see what you mean with these terms.

And one small thing regarding the formatting — the paragraph spacing disappeared just after posted it. Not sure what happened. Could be something on my end too.

Jeldrik

Hey,
quick question out of curiosity about Rubto’s cashmere (without wanting to participate in this discussion): Are only the colors exclusive to Rubato or also the cloth itself? If the latter, what makes it different?

John

Hi Simon,
you mentioned the finish of e.g. the Uniqlo sweater above. I think finishes applied to wool but also to cotton as in cloth for shirts would make a very interesting topic for an article. Since we wear those garments on your skin it would be interesting to know how they are (chemically) treated. Might also be interesting from a sustainability perspective. What is used to finish the garments and how relevant is it for us from a health and sustainability perspective? Are better made garments less treated? What are alternatives to chemical treatments?

Best
j

Jeldrik

Cloth, Yarn… I guess this goes back to my lack of English skills.
I actually meant the density of the material (or something similar). I come up with it because they write on the website:
“Woven on old looms the hand is dense, yet soft, reminiscent of what cashmere used to feel like in times past.”
That implies to me that there is something different in the manufacturing process than similar products.
Especially with expensive cashmere, I am often unsure what really distinguishes quality and what is just marketing. And accordingly whether it’s worth paying the extra price (I really like Rubato’s classic knitwear btw).

Jeldrik

Oh, and thank you for your quick answer.

Sanche

Sorry to cut in here Simon but how do you feel about the quality of Rubato cashmere and whether that is justified in the price difference with their lambswool..
I like the wool ones and though it’s on the pricier side still is fairly priced with the style and the colors also look so lovely and unique. But the cashmere has the same model still the price is much higher. Didnt understand what you had meant in the comments about them being unique, looks much like standard colors with different names?

Will

Honestly, I think these clothes and the outfits in general are wonderful – I don’t see the similarities to Cucinelli at all – Armani, yes – and that’s to be applauded. The wonderful large, pleated trousers, roomy jumpers and a beautiful, relaxed elan that has considerable spezzatura.
I’ve been in NY for the past 3 months (I’m from London) and I’ve spent a lot of time touring all and more than the vintage shops you posted recently, Simon. I’ll be returning to London with 3 vintage Giorgio Armani items (including two beautiful, raglan shoulder overcoats) from the 80s – there simply isn’t anything like it today.
The Armani ‘gene’ if you want to describe it like that isn’t for everyone but is present in the Ghiaia line here, and I think it’s exemplified in some ways (perhaps more maturely) by your post on Richard Burke in Friends which really is a beautiful reference point on how to dress wonderfully (https://www.permanentstyle.com/2021/11/richard-burke-style-hero.html).
It’s also seen (more youthfully and stylistically) in your article on how to dress like André Larynoh (https://www.permanentstyle.com/2021/08/colour-size-and-drama-how-to-dress-like-andre-larnyoh.html).
As I approach my late 40s I feel that Armani and its close modern siblings are the right reference point for relaxed, louche, wonderfulness and I’ll be pursuing it over all else. It’s a shame that I leave NY on Thursday and won’t have time to grab a pair of Ghiaia’s pleated trousers. Many thanks for bringing this brand to my attention.

zo

im a sucker for design, and i’ve managed to nab a few 80s/early90s Armani items, including a couple of overcoats, and I couldnt agree more with your comments. I find them highly stylised, yet very easy to wear. my wife calls them my ‘Home Alone’ coats. i also nabbed a suit in a very decent condition for like £30…again its highly stylised (like in the richard burke link above) and is in worsted wool, so am finding it difficult to work into my wardrobe and ‘modernise’ it without looking like a runway model…but I shall keep trying and get there one day!

Fred

It has been fascinating to read the discussion here. I did find the looks interesting. I am a huge fan of the “sailing look”, where the tones are light and neutral and then accented by that wonderful yellow coat. Vintage chinos and canvas shoes are a staple for me so great to get some inspiration.
However, I must say that like some other readers, brands like this make me rather uncomfortable and get to the heart of a key dilemma for me in menswear. Worth noting that I am writing as a teacher and as such, I’m aware my income is substantially lower than many PS readers. I am fine with that. I chose my profession and love it. I also love great clothing – I buy lots of vintage and second hand. I am also very happy to save for a year to buy the right piece from the right company. This seems relevant because there is a huge tension between brands who offer quality and design at the “right price”, are upfront about why things cost what they do and those who lean into a form elitism that I find lacking in taste. I would submit that brands like Brycelands are safely on the right side of this dichotomy and Ghaiai are on the wrong – their branding and pricing is simply prohibitive of anyone who is not in a financial elite. This is not helped by the fact they are based in LA, one of the most unequal cities on the planet, where the super-rich live just several blocks away from the poorest. As far as I am concerned, the geographical distance between the Rose Bowl and Ghaiai may be small, but every other difference is vast – I know where I’d rather buy my clothes.
Finally, I submit to fathers in the UK (as a father of two) that the first purchase should be a serious pair of jeans (plenty of good advice on PS regarding products) – they will survive everything and age with your children.

James Fettiplace

Whilst I like this aesthetic, I have to say it doesn’t quite fit with my recollection of having children, and certainly young children. I think the biggest concern with young children is that cloths need to be machine-washable and washed regularly. Regretfully, despite liking quality clothes, this period of my life coincided with the worst clothing I have ever worn (albeit generally behind closed doors!). Things must be different in California!

JB

I think these looks are very nice and wearable. Nothing groundbreaking, but a nice take on classics. In general it definitely seems like the 80s and 90s are making a come back and I think we can stand to embrace the good parts of it, like more play on volume and proportions.
And I think they all highlight the key x-factor of looking good in anything: comfort. The clothes and the looks doesn’t look contrived (to me). They look comfortable and loved. I’m all for a crisp navy knit, but the way navy cotton fades is quite nice. Doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a suit or jeans and a sweater, if you’re not comfortable it shows.
As a father of a 3-year old, the my playground clothing usually consists of chinos, a pique shirt/long sleeved t-shirt/oxford and a fleece, roll neck etc. depending on the temperature. And these looks would fit right in there, as well as a pub run or coffee with a friend.

Luke

I love the Ghiaia styling, it’s really nice to see the quality of Italian product styled and presented in a manner thats more relaxed and less formal than many of the classic/family run firm, which as Davide says is this California influence. It reminds me a bit of the easy way someone like Antonio Ciongoli of Eidos (now Eighteen East) used to wear his formal clothing. On the price, I think people haven’t caught up to the fact that the raw materials, shipping and production costs going through the roof in the past two years. Power to run factories, ships and planes to send raw materials etc. have all shot up 10-20% and the costs have gone up accordingly. Even dependable if a little staid Scottish cashmere has gone from being around £250 or so for 2ply to closer to £400.

Rups

Given some of the comments about price, are you able to explain what makes quality cashmere knitwear vs the mediocre vs the less good? I’ve read old cashmere was better. Also seen reference to ply without knowing what it really means. Is there a way to tell quality by feel or some other classification? Seems to be huge price differences, abs actually I like the look of the stuff here so if it is of high quality I’d buy it)