Over the course of last month’s Fashion Week(s) I became infatuated with the street style Italian couple, Giotto Calendoli and Patricia Manfield. Following in the footsteps of Veronica Heilbrunner and Justin O’Shea, the veteran style couple, Calendoli and Manfield have a pull on me that the former do not; they are young and they are taking risks. A few weeks later and my infatuation has not diminished. I am now dedicatedly following them both on Instagram and slowly filling my Pinterest with their photos. I decided to give these two the ultimate test, show my mom a few of their looks and see what she thought.
Having spent a semester on fashion design in college, my mom has an opinionated and know-all sense of style. Although I’ve been consistently rebelling against her fashion advice since age three, often I’m forced to concede that she does know a thing or two and I secretly take her advice to heart. When I showed her some Pinterest snaps of Patricia and Giotto, she had two immediate thoughts. Patricia has an elegant and fun approach to style and Giotto looks as though he hasn’t quite found his fashion niche; he’s trying too hard.
I puzzled over my mom’s comment for some time. I had never noticed before, but after closer examination I realized she was right. Whereas Patricia could take fashion risks while still looking timeless, Giotto came off as overdressed. Suddenly the extra bracelet and bandana ceased to be edgy and instead looked more like their sole purpose was to get the cameras attention. Giotto has the heart and the natural talent, that much is true but it became increasingly obvious to me that there was just too much effort in his choices. A second realization, much later, was totally new to me. I actually liked that he was trying too hard.
In today’s society, mind you not in the exclusive world of high fashion, but in everyday life, it is often considered feminine for a guy to spend time on his clothes or look like he cares about his appearance. This is a sad fact that only serves to increase the boundary between what is feminine and what is masculine. Why is it dictated that fashion is a girls’ thing? Why is there no mens’ fashion week and does the fact that women are increasingly obsessed with their weight have anything to do with this? These are questions that in today’s world are not getting answered, and should be.
I am so used to seeing the majority of men in the same nondescript clothes every day that looking at pictures of Giotto’s overdone outfits feels refreshing. Here is a man who is wearing bell bottom pants with a bright blue blazer and shiny black boots, very much in love with his girlfriend and strutting outside fashion shows with all the swagger of a rock star. Although he may still be finding his footing in fashion, I sincerely hope that he will never give up what makes him so eye-catching; his unashamedly unwavering commitment to style. Giotto has made me decide never to settle for a man afraid of exploring fashion