Horticultural Elegance — Introducing Rovi Lucca

Outdoor pursuits have shaped modern menswear since the beginning, from button-down shirts and rowing blazers to polo shirts and sneakers. More recently, the technical fabrics of hiking and running gear have migrated to the everyday wardrobe. But Tuscan brand Rovi Lucca draws its inspiration from something closer to home: gardening. While British minds might go to Barbour jackets and wellington boots worn in the rain, this is a brighter, warmer look, suited to the long days of summer.

Born in the 2020 Italian lockdown, Rovi Lucca is the brainchild of menswear designer Fabrizio Taliani and art director Bradley Seymour. The two friends met in the Italian menswear capital of Milan, where both had worked for many years (Taliani was head of design at Zegna, while Seymour was a mainstay of fashion media and launched Esquire Italia). Their withdrawal to Taliani’s childhood home of Lucca offered a time of reflection and relaxation. Like many of us, they found a new appreciation for gardening. But they also found a new design brief: clothes roomy enough to dig and plant in, yet elegant enough to wear to relax on the terrace in the evening. That ambition led to a summer leisurewear collection that’s practical and yet sophisticated, useful for everything from trowel-work to travel.

We caught up with Bradley to find out how the budding brand developed. “Fabrizio Taliani and I were drawn together by our appreciation of a life well lived, the love of travel, art, culture, fashion, and design,” he says. The conditions of lockdown might have felt like the end of all of that. Yet something else began to emerge in its place: a calmer, simpler kind of creativity. “Our shared passion for nature and a desire for a slower approach to fashion brought us together.”

It’s easy to idealise the style of Italian city life: food, art, music, tailoring. But the Lucchese countryside offered “a wealth of untapped inspiration,” Bradley explains. “Reconnecting with nature became a priority once we realised just how much we were starved of it. Fabrizio’s fascination with the heritage gardens of the villas surrounding Lucca and my appreciation for the outdoors sparked the idea to infuse the elegance of a garden lifestyle into an elevated utility wardrobe.” The inspiration for their new summer collection is the lavish baroque gardens and walled courtyards of Palazzo Pfanner, on the edge of medieval Lucca. If gardening sometimes sounds domestic, this is positively cinematic.

Italy remains the best place in the world to make quality clothes thanks to its unparalleled technical knowhow and the number of small firms willing to work on small-scale, unique projects. “We collaborate closely with a Tuscany family that has been manufacturing for generations, cutting each pattern by hand,” Bradley says. “The mainstay, our collarless Garden Jacket in fresh cotton twill, embodies Italian tailoring with workwear influences, featuring a drawstring on the back for a field jacket twist.”

This season, Trunk is offering the Garden Jacket in a beige cotton twill, together with the corresponding Garden Pants, in addition to Rovi Lucca’s Oxford Garden Shirt, Gardener’s Bandana, and Hat. Hand cut in generous proportions, these are fundamentally relaxed garments made with the technical precision of tailoring. The British cotton twills and Oxford cloth will stand up to full sun on the terrazzo as well as to a spot of British rain. Pair the Garden Pants with a t-shirt and soft blazer for comfortable summer travel, add the Garden Jacket to denim and chukkas for an easy weekend uniform, or for the true horticulturalist, wear the full look for outdoors activities all summer long.

However you wear it, this is an attractive combination of Italian menswear savoir faire and the Tuscan countryside life. Or as Bradley puts it, clothes that bring the colour, ease, and warmth of an Italian garden into everyday life.

Shop the Rovi Lucca collection here.

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