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TABARRIFICIO VENETO AT PITTI UOMO 85

Synthese

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TABARRIFICIO VENETO: HELL YES
Words and Pictures by Jasper L

Tragically, capes are almost unheard of in America, being generally viewed as things that nerds cover with Cheeto dust and who knows what else after whacking each other with foam swords and comparing dice. Tragic, because they, in their bliss, understand something that you do not: capes are fucking rad.

Tabarrificio Veneto, another project from Barena founder Sandro Zara, makes some of the raddest capes around. Most are based on traditional Italian garments, and the racks at Pitti are bursting with fantasies: one cape is billed as a cape for “normal people,” the kind any Italian man might wear on a daily basis; another is a military cape; and tucked into a corner is a truly majestic Phantom-esque cape to be worn to the opera, masquerade ball, or the living burial of your greatest enemy.

My favorite model is the 1518, which is based on the short cloaks worn by Italian military troops. It is, as far as capes go, very wearable – by which I mean that it looks unexpectedly normal over a pair of jeans and boots, and unless you lead a far more exciting life than I do, you are unlikely to ever run into another person wearing the same outfit. The website has more options, including a highwayman-worthy hooded cape complete with a wheel brace for stability when outrunning furious merchants on horseback.

If tradition doesn’t make your blood sing, there are stranger choices. Pieces that might have been capes once, long ago, but have been morphed by the relentless pull of modernity into something not-quite-cape and not-quite-coat: Double-riders, Montgomeries, one-size-fits-all coats that are really just capes that have grown mutated, cape-like arms. Wonderfully, every offering has the same oh-so-slightly-gothic fairy-tale charm.

The look isn’t everything. No picture can fully communicate the magic of donning (yes, donning) a cape: one must grab it firmly but gently by the lapels, gracefully curl the spine, and then extend, swirling the cape about one’s shoulders in a motion that requires approximately twenty square feet of empty space if one doesn’t wish to endanger passersby. Once it’s on, you swing one side of the garment up over your opposite shoulder in a gesture so powerful it must be experienced to be understood. I did it one time and almost passed out. Muttering “Nemo me impune lacessitt” under your breath as you walk into the night gives +10 to vengeance.

Wearing a cape, even just putting on a cape, makes you feel awesome. Like a superhero, like a villain, like the man with no name seen through a lens of rain and cobblestones and Carnevale masks. Wear a tabarro to your D&D table if you like; better yet, wear it to the supermarket, the coffee shop, the barn and the theater. These are capes to be taken seriously; capes that are made to be worn, to be lived in and dreamed in.













Final image courtesy of Tabarroshop.com

To visit the Tabarrificio Veneto webshop and see even more capes, please click here.
 
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Synthese

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So, there's really no escaping the fact that capes are pretty dramatic in person, and that you have to be okay with that to enjoy wearing one. A lot of us would be, I think - once you put them on, you sort of wonder why you didn't think of it before. @ghostface and @nahneun are the two people who come immediately to mind (I can see Nahneun rocking that DR cape), but Ivwri, snowmanxl, Dlester, KG, Diniro - all those waywt stars with an eye for the dramatic - they'd all look good in them too.
 
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Moonchild

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Great thread , and great introduction...
I'm a fan of capes as well. You know, l grew up in Africa, and, once again, it's a matter of cultural context.
Though a couple of decades (or centuries ago), it was worn by the "well-dressed', especially in the old England, today it would come off as 'try-hard' or 'gay-fashionista-preying-on-streetstyle-photographers" (=too eye catchy and off-place and time), though it's really practical : for instance, when it comes to sitting down, coats are quite uncomfortable, and one has to unbutton them or take them off '(especially if you like them slim-fitting like me), where the drapey effect of the cape will allowmore freedom of movement. AND matter of fact easier to put on/ take off.
In Africa, not sure if l should call it a "cape" (because it's made of lighter material and cotton or linen), but they wear something of the sort in some areas and it's perfect when it's windy but not cold (like when the monsoon or harmattan is blowing). I'm planning to have one made during my next trip there. Maybe one in cotton gauze or / and wool gabardine, and will be inspired by this Damir Doma piece (I prefer the more 'exotic-looking' capes) :
 
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wogbog

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with all the love of ponchos and big scarves it is only a matter of time . . .
 

a bag of it

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Earlier this year I was in a scottish/irish merchant shop in western Maine. I was surprised to find that they carried Barbour, but what really caught my eye was the rack of capes in the corner of the ladies section. This was the first time I had ever seen capes in a store and I decided to try one on that was very similar to the one in the first picture. It was incredibly soft 100% cashmere and fit like a glove. It felt so natural I wondered why more people didn't wear capes. I wanted to buy it, but it was expensive and I convinced myself that it was too feminine. This thread makes me wish I had so I could be the cool kid who was into capes before they blew up haha.
 

cyc wid it

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Cam'ron bringing capes to the hood this year with McNairy also...
 

snowmanxl

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ghostface

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great write-up, synth. these look very cool. definitely a good way to take the drape and flow to another level.

of course, the dorkus malorkus risks are also very high. and fit pics of the capes are noticeably absent from their website. these are probably best reserved for those who have age and gravitas in their visage, and/or who are non-white-guys. (not suggesting that they didn't look awesome on synth, who is an outlier.)

for example, i think this guy (in an e.g. cape, similar to the last t.v. one) looks pretty dope. but if he had a different hairstyle, or less grey in his beard, he'd be inching pretty close to the danger zone.

 
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Synthese

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The first one is the 1518, snow. It's my favorite, and probably the easiest to wear casually. I should mention that every cape is available in a range of different fabrics, but none are that cheap. I wish I had a picture of me wearing it, because it looks so damn cool.
 

snowmanxl

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Yeah it's a sexy specimen of a cape. Fabric looks thick.
 

brad-t

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Pieces that might have been capes once, long ago, but have been morphed by the relentless pull of modernity into something not-quite-cape and not-quite-coat: Double-riders, Montgomeries, one-size-fits-all coats that are really just capes that have grown mutated, cape-like arms.
maybe the best sentence you have ever written

really love that DR cape
 

Caveat

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I tried to order that pilgrim bag from them last year but the shipping (within Europe no less) was 35 euros, almost as much as the bag itself. I inquired about it and they replied that they would look into it but never did.
 

wj4

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Cam'ron bringing capes to the hood this year with McNairy also...
HAHA. Killa Cam!



Awesome stuff, Syn.

I'm having a hard time navigating the site since it's not in English. Do you know how much the cape in the first picture of your article goes for and where are they sold?
 

snowmanxl

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