Mood board: the Pal Zileri ready-to-wear label was founded by businessmen Gianfranco Barizza and Aronne Miola in 1980. The two had spent the previous ten years working together in the textile industry before launching their own line of fine suiting and, to this day, all of its clothes and accessories are made by a network of artisans in Quinto Vicentino. In July last year Rocco Iannone was appointed Creative Director, marking a new move for the house. A graduate of the Marangoni School of Design, Iannone joined the company after a decade at Giorgio Armani – the icon of Italian fashion whose influence still presides over the menswear tailoring we see today. For his debut, Iannone looked to do away with an uptight bourgeois attitude, and took inspiration from the Villa Valmarana ai Nani, an elegant landmark building in Vicenza, Pal Zileri’s homeland. ‘I don’t adhere to a code of dressing, per se. I like to think about the real mean that will wear the clothes; men whose lives are made up of so many different experiences, every day,’ he said. 
Scene setting: the backdrop to the A/W 2018 show was a vast digital wall playing a looping film that served as an introduction and finale to Iannone’s arrival at the house. The camera led us through the interior of a classic Palladian mansion as a surreal green being entered its walls. Guests sat on embroidered cushions and, on each, was a printed manifesto: a clutch of seven small cards, each depicting portraits by the German Renaissance painter Albrecht Dürer. The mood was one of studied nonchalance. 
Best in show: the supernatural video set a new tone for a new era. Tailoring is the label’s bread and butter but Iannone expanded the offering with relaxed daywear and voluminous options for coats. He said that he wanted to move away from a formal, done up mood. ‘The new Pal Zileri man is fully aware of who he is, he never feels the need to demonstrate anything to anyone. He is poised, masculine, and always at ease with his surroundings,’ Iannone said. The collection had real options for real life, yet in the finest baby cashmere, alpaca and sheepskin. Standout was plush, herringbone velvet bomber worn with denim trousers. It looked easy and expensive.