Funny thing, linen, when you stop to think about it. Almost seems to defy all common sense. It’s soft, lightweight, decadent and indulgent. And yet, at the same time, it’s durable and reliable and long-lasting. This seems a physical impossibility — you wouldn’t play rugby in silk, or bullfight in seersucker. And yet linen is a cloth for all seasons. There’s a reason your father has been wearing that same sky blue button down number on every family holiday since 1992. It’s not for want of imagination — it’s just that the thing never gets old. It’s brushed off decades of chablis and errant moule frites and French thunderstorms, and it’s in better shape than ever — and getting better all the time.
That’s because a fine linen shirt matures and evolves. Whereas other garments become tarnished or lose their shape and their lustre, good linen (and it must be good linen, as you’ll find out) becomes softer, silkier, and more lovely over time. At the same time, it always maintains its shape and its best qualities: lightness, breathability, and relaxed charm. This is some sort of magic.
Luca Faloni, while we’re on the subject, are the magicians of the moment. They know this mysterious art inside out. The company relies only on the oldest Italian mills in Northern Italy. Nothing else quite cuts the mustard (or “taglia la senape”, as the Italians don’t say.) One of the mills in question is a third generation operation, founded by the current owner’s grandfather. Experience and legacy like that pays off — the fabric on a Luca Faloni shirt retains that wonderful fibrous alchemy, in that it is soft and enveloping, and yet strong and durable. The highest quality linen also ensures that the colours don’t become insipid and washed out. This is an element that many shirtmakers overlook.
Panarea - Sand
Silk Cashmere Polo - Mustard
Lipari Navy Linen Trousers
A good raw ingredient means nothing, of course, if you don’t know what to do with it. (There are enough naff restaurants with exorbitant truffle budgets in Central London to pay testament to that). The shirts here (and trousers, and shorts) are crafted with precision and expertise. They are made in understated, classic designs with neat details and exceptional finishing by the doyens up in Bergamo in the North. We’re particularly fond of the timeless Portofino shirts in a shimmering rainbow of hues (the ‘Paramontura’ collar for a perfect and lasting shape is very pleasing indeed). But also of the more relaxed Forte Linen ‘pullover’ style numbers with understated band collars. Excellent linen may survive the decades, but good quality never goes out of fashion.
Discover the full collection at lucafaloni.com