Known as the città della calza, literally “sock city,” Castel Goffredo put itself on the map in the Roaring ’20s when women finally got to show off their gams in short flapper dresses, and men of a certain class spent their money on the finest silk, cashmere and wool blends. Today, that “sock city” has some 600 calzifici, or sock makers. When you stop and think about it, some of the greatest names in hosiery are either of Italian origin or produce their wares in Italy.
Florentine Emilio Cavallini is arguably the most famous Italian name in the industry today. His iconic chunky fishnets, printed patterns and shimmery fabrics have stood the test of time; after 40 years, his eponymous brand continues to thrive. This season, we are loving his lace bodysuits and tweed leggings. Walking down any Italian high street, you’re bound to find at least one Calzedonia – the small, but functional one stop shop is formatted for all your day-to-day hosiery needs, from colourful collants, to push-up leggings and playful ankle socks. The cooler months are their prime time as they switch stock to swimwear during the summer.
This season the brand has a set of versatile hosiery that can pair well with any footwear from sneakers to pumps. Their exclusive “Special Edition” consists of six tights and a selection of socks that really emphasize the craftsmanship that goes into these models. The sheer black with black polka dots is their must-have, as America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts models them in the brand’s new campaign. There is also plenty for the guys, with dandy patterned knee socks and Spiderman sneaker socks for the weekend or a night in with the PlayStation.
For modern finery at an accessible postal code, head to Lyla, a high-end, ready-to-wear and lingerie boutique located in the heart of Outremont, Montreal. “Our hosiery section consists of a large selection of Wolford products, both timeless classics and indispensable basics, as well as trendy styles,” explains Stephanie Macpherson, a spokeswoman for the shop.
“We also carry the eternally classic Philippe Matignon in all the essential colours and the fun and sexy Trasparenze hosiery line in a variety of styles.”
While not Italian, the Austrian Wolford brand has become synonymous with luxe hosiery. With a look ahead to spring, the inspiration for its latest collection is Glam Rock with faux leather accents, variations on nets, rivets and silver accents. We particularly fancied the matte opaque Emily tights with a laser-cut quote featured along the length of the back leg in lieu of a back seam – très original!