By Lucas Pantoja
Since the year 1857, the hatmakers at Borsalino have been perfecting their craft, all done within their factory stationed in the Piedmont region of northern Italy. What’s admirable about a brand like Borsalino, is that their work which has a rich history, is concentrated on one type of accessory, and a continuation of elevating and reintroducing that accessory into the world with every collection — all by traditional techniques, and different generations of master artisans. It’s the rare kind of dedication to craft that feels strikingly personal and is becoming more rare nowadays in the fashion industry which brings about a charming quality of Borsalino.
The majority of the hats are made of rabbit felt and can take weeks to produce, done by hand and colored with natural dyes. In this latest collection, that charm was accompanied by an inspiration of the 19th century English Arts and Crafts movement, making for many campy and quirky felts that’d have wearers looking like nostalgic-London style purveyors from a theatre scene.
Similar to a cast of peculiar characters from a Wes Anderson film, the collection gathers signature pieces of statement headwear, serving as an entire look by themselves.
Standouts might be the Renaissance painter hat, paying homage to the 500th anniversary of artist Raphael Sanzio’s death, the gold-leopard print wrapped fez, or one of the Schiaparelli inspired hats. One of which; a wavy black work of Parisian femininity with a romantic, carnation-colored hand-stitched bow.
A particular feature presented, seen on the a few of the ranger style hats, are the lengthy removable straps that vary in wood and metal inspired materials. Allowing for the hats to be styled in a number of ways, whether over an outfit bag-style or on top of the cranium.
In addition, the collection also consists of another side which is more classic and subtle in essence. But I’d say to those readers who excel in camp fashion, unbounded by the limits of dress, the signature hats presented by Borsalino make for an excellent personal uniform to make one’s own.