We are accustomised to see how the cinema influences the fashion industry; the style’s characters sometimes inspire the collections, as in the next Pal Zileri collection which has revived the heroes of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, or other times the colours in the Concept collection which seem stolen by the movie “the postman”. TV series less ofthen dictate major trends, in fact more often dictate individual garments, as for example the black leather jacket seen in Fonzie. And yet the costumes from two TV series, one set in the English countryside from 10’s, the other in Manhattan from the 50’s, have fascinated viewers from all over world, thanks to the rebuilt elegance from the old era that seems today, so far away.
There was a time in which a gentleman was dressed by a valet, who represented much more than someone that help to dress someone else; he was a trusted adviser on the choice of cufflinks, something so important for example at Dontown Abbey, where you play the vicissitudes of the Count of Grantham and his family. At that time gentlemen and lady used to change clothes based on the occasion, or time of the day, and tuxedo was an extravagance by enriched Americans. These rules need to be learned by the handsome Matthew Crawley, since he is going to inherit his cousin’s title, even if few changes have occured in the last three series.Costume designer Susannah Buxton’s job was so attentive and well done that the country style chic, all hats, tweed and trench and immediately returned to fashion.
From the countryside to the cities: the offices of “mad men” are in the Manhattan , the advertising gurus of late ’50 that will be granted drinking whisky at 11.00 in the morning or “innocent” escapades with their personal assistants much less naive than you think. Don Draper’s character is fascinating, obscure,quiet and enigmatic and soon became a myth and Jon Hamm, the actor who played it, an icon of style. Since 2007, “Mad men” won any recognition, including the privilege to have inspired the come back of the 50’s.
Pal Zileri has never forgotten, even with modern taste, the true meaning of the fit of a suit, which should enhance the silhouette, certainly not compress it in small jackets like some fashionista are doing. For this reason “Downtown Abbey” and “Mad men” are two serials tv that need to noted in Quaderno di Stile Pal Zileri, or if you prefer, on the TV guide.