Nothing compares to Italian craftsmanship. For fall 2023, Walter Chiapponi presented a refined and considerate collection for Tod’s, zooming in on the unparalleled skill and precision inextricably linked to the design house. On offer, a showcase of strength: broad-shouldered double-breasted coats in wool and leather versions; longer, floor-skimming alternatives with oversized lapels cleverly counterbalanced with ballet flats; utilitarian flight jackets offset with tailored trousers and another sprinkling of the above, but in pinstripe.
“I started with a feel for severity,” Chiapponi told Vogue.com. “A sort of minimal approach that I was keen to explore. The collection was entirely made in our tailoring atelier, and every piece is informed by a tailored flavour. The way I work on shapes is through manipulation, so a detour on extreme, exaggerated proportions felt almost consequential.”
Ironically, this detour worked not to overwhelm the female figure in heaps of fabric but instead, to arrive at a collection that felt uniquely empowered via a retooling of distinctly masculine silhouettes. Neither the colour palette—which included khaki, ash grey, beige and charcoal, to name a few—nor the shapes and styles shown felt typically feminine and yet the clothes exuded a self-assured spirit and an innate self-confidence. They needed neither accessories nor complicated hair or make-up looks to pull off—each piece in the collection held its own.
Particular highlights (perhaps expectedly) included Chiapponi’s mastery of leather: in mini dresses, cinched at the waist with large belts and exaggerated sleeves and in the form of paper bag-style trousers, also belted with a blouse that carried the same round neckline and padded shoulders as the dresses. There were extra-mini miniskirts and elegant evening dresses that would easily carry one from office to occasion, emphasising the wearable, functional nature of the collection. One would be hard-pressed to see a woman in a total look on Via Monte Napoleone and not rush to do the same.
This article originally appeared on GRAZIA AU.