No Ironing Required: Nick Wooster Says Wrinkled Is In-------
Instagram menswear icon Nick Wooster is all over the new Wooster x Lardini collection he and the Italian tailoring brand rolled out to the press at Pitti Uomo in Florence yesterday. Mini cartoon portraits of Wooster’s bearded mug are embroidered like polka dots onto one of the collection’s suit fabrics.
The collaboration, between the sartorially eclectic Wooster and Luigi Lardini, creative director of the brand he founded in 1978 with his brother Andrea and sister Lorena, proves the international reach of social media today. The American Wooster has become a men’s fashion star overnight in Italy thanks to his endless stream of stylish selfies—which feature his unique mix of tough-guy tattoos and sharp tailoring. Lardini said he’d been following Wooster’s Instagram feed for several years before he proposed the collaboration six months ago, and the two worked out the style particulars in just two three-day meetings.
“I vowed I would never put my name on a brand, or wear pleated pants again, and here I am,” said Wooster, sporting one of the collection’s washed-out, garment-dyed khaki jackets with a pair of deep-pleated Bermudas and an oversize safety pin on his shirt collar.
Wooster’s take on the Lardini project was simple. The brand is known for its perfect tailoring, so he challenged the label to make something elegantly imperfect. The result is a short but sweet range of jackets, trousers, and Bermuda shorts with one shirt, one shoe, and a tie, offered in twelve different fabrics.
“I wanted the jackets to have a lived-in, messy look as though they were found in the attic, and then combine them with something really clean on the bottom,” said Wooster, who took inspiration from Brooks Brothers’ famously preppy style. The jackets and pants play with the collection’s muted gray and khaki palette in patchworks, but there’s also more traditional summer tweed, Prince of Wales plaid, and linen-cotton-blend seersucker options to wear with patchwork cotton shirts and slip-on sneakers.
“I think linen looks new again,” says Wooster. “Italians have always worn it in a way that Americans [who worry about the wrinkles] never have. Let it wrinkle, and then you don’t have to worry if what’s in your suitcase is perfectly pressed.”