Paninaro revisited

Much as I’m championing the nineties revival (I’ve given up moaning about revivals, I’ve realised they’re part and parcel of fashion these days), I’m not quite done with the 80s yet. On my radar right now? Paninaro. In the mid-eighties a trend emerged from Italy’s monied classes for expensive preppie-inspired casualwear. Liberto jeans, Timberland boots and colourful Moncler ski jackets of the highest quality and price were sported by men, women and teenagers alike. Jeans were worn tapered and cropped at the ankle (the better to show off the boots when riding their Vespa scooters) and outfits were accesssorised with Rayban Wayfarers or aviators and candy-hued Invicta backpacks.

The trend arose from affluent Milanese teens who hung out in sandwich bars, particularly a favourite hangout called Il Panino. So fascinated by this posh streetwear trend that they even made a record about it, the style-savvy Pet Shop Boys introduced the look to the UK in 1986 – you can see the video here. Moncler, makers of those unmissable puffy jackets, was taken over five years ago by Remo Ruffini and is once more highly desirable. Ruffini has enlisted the help of designers like Giambattista Valli and (pre-Valentino) Alessandra Facchinetti to consult on its highest-end Gamme Rouge line while every other designer store I passed on my recent trip to New York had a shiny-shiny black Moncler in the window.