Walter Chiapponi is transforming Tod’s from its original casual, middle-class Italian lifestyle to a more upscale, modern, feminine version. In his view, it’s a transition that doesn’t require any overhaul, but rather a gradual approach to renewal. These days, revamping a legacy brand is like the job of a skilled plastic surgeon: giving a face a fresher look without destroying its best features.
For Pre-Fall, he opted for a no-frills “tailor” manipulation, “as he puts it, the trench coat, extending its classic wardrobe staple into a range of different incarnations.” From a design standpoint, I find it interesting to give sportswear and casual wear a couture spirit,” he said, “and bring a twist of sexiness and glamour into functional outerwear. To that end, he transformed the trench coat into a cropped, skinny bomber jacket in buttery-soft nappa leather, or into a field jacket that cinches at the waist, paired with a matching elongated shirt to create a onesie
Elsewhere, trench coats are deconstructed into tunic cloaks, or given a military vibe, or reincarnated as elegant coats. Quality fabrics are tactile, such as nappa leather, rubberized cotton, and soft brushed wool; execution is “as accurate as evening gowns,” he says, noting the tailoring details that give each piece its personality, such as citing 70 Masculine cut seams, or barely visible interlocking seams. A rich palette of orange, crimson and turquoise also accentuates the designer’s more sensual, human look to what he describes as “Tod’s and feminized identities”.