The beauty of having been in the modeling industry for over…dare I mention…ten years is that I have had the privilege of being exposed to various style philosophies, and worn some of the best clobber on earth. From Dolce and Gabbana, to Kenneth Cole, to Dsquared2, to Byblos, to Calibre, my travels have taken me to far off spots like Singapore, Australia, and Africa, and given me an understanding of what goes into these garments. Be it function, form, or a deft marriage of the two, I have developed an appreciation for what can easily be described as artisanship.
Shots taken by Troy Phillips
One of my most preferred brands is Portolano (www.portolano.com). This smaller “heritage” company started out as a top glove maker in Naples Italy in 1895, then in the late 1960’s it expanded into all manner of luxury items, with an emphasis on fine cashmere and leather. My introduction to the line came after a conversation with a mate. Visiting him as he was closing up his cases for a trip to Milan, he whipped out a massive scarf (later I was to learn this was known as a Pashmina). He stylishly draped it over his Hugo Boss blazer (yes, he was a model hailing from Germany who consciously sported his nation’s clothing whenever possible). Chuckling and ribbing him about borrowing his Nan’s “Granny-shawl” he looked at me incredulously, “You do get Chilly on Flights, Right?” “Yes,” I replied. He retorted, “And please don’t tell me you use those revolting blankets they have on board?!” “DEAR GOD no! Not after that blue-light expose I saw on the news of biologicals found on the average “clean” blanket. I just throw on another sweater and hope for the best…”
“Well, this “Granny-shawl” serves as my personal blanket on board”
This Pashmina looked like your run-of-the-mill
BRILLIANT!!!! I was sold! I always get chilly on flights yet detest wearing constricting jackets on board. This pashmina looked like your run-of-the-mill, if very generous in size; scarf yet, did double duty. Since I was scheduled for a flight to Frankfurt later that week, I set out the very next day to find one of my very own. It was then that I found it. A gorgeous dove grey, 100% cashmere Portolano which, at over 6’2” in length, is long enough to serve as a complete and luxurious blanket. I can tie it stylishly around my neck leaving me hands-free and luggage light (we models HATE to check luggage as we have to be able to switch flights and make connections with little to no encumbrances, all you need have happen is a transfer from a large flight to a puddle-jumper and have your luggage go missing!!!)
Since then, I have become somewhat of a devotee of the company’s offerings. Be it for both gifts or a as a source of great clothing for yours truly, Portolano is one of my constant go-to options. Here are few of my favorite pieces from their current/spring collection:
Ernest Marius product photographer