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Italian Screen Style

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A new exhibition opens this weekend at London’s V&A Museum, charting the power of postwar Italian fashion. To celebrate, we chronicle Italy’s influence in cinema and the style legacy of those films.

‘The Glamour Of Italian Fashion 1945-2014’, 5 Apr-12 Jul, V&A Museum

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Short shorts

As seen in: The Talented Mr Ripley (1999)

Set in the Italian Riviera town of Mongibello, the 1999 film sees Jude Law in the kind of get-up any wayward playboy would aspire to: knit polos, an ice-cream palette of unstructured suits and, most importantly, short shorts.

‘Flamingo Frolik’ print bulldog shorts £195 by ORLEBAR BROWN

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Blouson Jackets

As seen in: Accattone (1961)

A tale of pimps, prostitutes and thieves, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s debut also depicted the Paninaro style. Its pleated trousers and blouson jackets has been reinterpreted by Miuccia Prada this spring.

Blouson jacket £805, shirt £805, cotton trousers £390, belt £90 and shoes £465 all by PRADA; 020-7647 5000

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PRINT ON PRINT

As seen in: The Italian Job (1969)

Boldly matching print on print was road-tested by the stylish Michael Caine in this cult-classic Sixties caper. Keep it up to date by breaking the pattern up (as shown by Hackett) with a plain coloured shirt, or throw on a simple blazer when approaching this quite challenging of trends.

Cream check wool jacket and matching cream wool check tie (price available upon request) both by HACKETT

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Tailored suits

As seen in: 8 1/2 (1963)

No one embodies effortless cool better than Marcello Mastroianni in Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2. The key to his sharp monochromatic simplicity is a tailored suit, a white shirt and slim tie. Throw on some classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers and you’re good to go.

Black cotton suit £1,860, waistcoat £320, white cotton shirt £470 and black silk tie £112 all by DOLCE & GABBANA; 020-7659 9000

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Wing-collar dress shirts

As seen in: The Godfather (1972)

It would be foolish to chronicle Italy’s influence on cinematic styling without mentioning Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Don Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece The Godfather. Following its release in 1972, wing-collar dress shirt sales exploded, a trend that looks set to be repeated with designers and high-street brands alike taking to this formal black-tie staple, most likely due to the success of period drama Downton Abbey.

Sartorial classic wing-collar dress shirt £39.50 by MARKS & SPENCER

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Light cotton shirts

As seen in: Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Shot in director Giuseppe Tornatore’s hometown

of Bagheria, Sicily, 1988’s Cinema Paradiso showcases a rustic Sicilian style that still has such a big influence on designers such as Dolce & Gabbana today. From softly tailored high-waisted trousers to crisp short-sleeved shirts thrown over casual T-shirts and accessorised with jauntily-tied neck scarves, this retro southern Italian sense of style is back on trend for spring.

Light cotton shirt £495 and charcoal light worsted wool trousers £650 both by BOTTEGA VENETA

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Signature Armani

As seen in: American Gigolo (1980)

Richard Gere’s interpretation of high-class male escort Julian Kaye would not have been so lauded without Giorgio Armani’s input, designing Gere’s entire wardrobe. It was the point Armani earned his stripes as a designer, his

laidback and unstructured Italian influence has endured time and is a signature to which Armani rarely strays, his spring 2014 collection proving a great example.

Sand double-breasted nappa leather jacket £4,830, blush cotton/cashmere sweater £805, classic trouser £595 and beige goatskin Oxford shoes £530 all by GIORGIO ARMANI; 020-7235 6232

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Hawaiian prints

As seen in: Donnie Brasco (1997)

Based on the true story of an FBI agent assigned to infiltrate the infamous Italian-American Bonanno crime family, Donnie Brasco sums up the hyper-masculine bad taste/good taste Mafioso aesthetic. Wide-lapel jackets, slicked-back hair, aviators and Hawaiian-print resort shirts are all readily available this season to help you pull together the ultimate mobster look.

Blue cotton Hawaiian-print shirt £145 by SANDRO

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Summer fabrics

As seen in: Roman Holiday (1953)

This Rome-set comedy masterpiece was instrumental in Gregory Peck’s ascent to style icon, while his wide-lapelled, continental-styled suit helped redefine masculine fashion trends. Bleached-out tailoring in pale neutral colours and light summer fabrics are back this spring.

Cream ‘O’Connor’ peak lapel jacket £2,350 and matching trousers £780 both by TOM FORD; 020-3141 7800

(Images: REX, Kobal, Allstar)

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