This week’s Economist highlights the EU’s plan to build a “Malmo-Palermo express” linking the north and south. The funding of a “Scandinavian-Mediterranean corridor” is quite substantial. The reason for this investment is that the southern reaches of Europe around the Mediterranean have lagged on most economic measures behind the rest of western Europe for decades.
Southern Italy and especially Sicily have developed separately and at different speeds, reflected and perpetuated by its poor road, rail and air connectivity. Likewise, this has contributed to the invisibility of Sicily as a modern cultural phenomenon despite an astounding 3,000 year history.
I contend that a key part of Sicilian culture is its distinctive tailoring tradition, poorly understood and recognized for what it really is. Ironically though, this lack of awareness about Sicilian tailors has only solidified my argument that Sicily is home to the rarest of the three heritage tailoring traditions of the West.
Savile Row initiated the habits and practices of masculine tailoring while Naples modernized them.
But Sicily may very well express the most balanced sartorial tradition by virtue of its hybridity. By being outside this binary sartorial canon, Sicilian tailoring has mastered the blending of the two standard bearers into a compelling synthesis of its own.