Tod's is comforting in its consistency. Each season, there's a carousel of clothes that are incredibly sharp, and reliable, and absurdly well-made. But they're not dull. Rather this is the wardrobe for the kind-eyed, young(ish) Italian professor that, remarkably, has every essay delivered on time from students that nod and sigh with each passing lecture on Mesopotamian architecture. It's field jackets, and louche chinos, and knitted polo shirts, and unlined two pieces; smart, but not constrictingly so. Or, in translation: the one-stop shop to nail the ever tricky 'smart-casual' invitation (and nail it harder than any other man in the room).
But what happens when Tod's goes a little experimental? Good things, actually! The latest release – a limited edition collection directly inspired by the works of late New York artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat – sees Tod's reach for the spray cans. The result: the house's signature driver shoes (the Gommino) doused in the words 'dream', 'amor' and 'in love we trust' along with T-shirts, trainers and accessories.
Which sounds very un-Todlike. But for creative director Walter Chiapponi, it's a natural fit. Both Haring and Basquiat "have always played a key role in [Chiapponi's] creative process" says the official release, and rather than stand for protest, Tod's graffiti calls for unity, and a "common language of freedom, expression, creation and ingenuity". Thus, the madder nature of graffiti finds a happy home. Because much of Tod's output could be considered a canvas to anchor wilder menswear, yes. But also because Chiapponi believes in this stuff, and has created a modern iteration of Tod's that is reflective of the values upon which street art is historically based upon.
Our favourite is the diamond white sneaker covered in pitch black etchings. That Italian lecturer looks good for the classics seminar, sure. But the wardrobe for mid-Eighties East Village abstractism? Bellissimo.
Available now from tods.com, priced from £250
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