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  • The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'

    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo

    The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'

    Writing about the traditional Sardinian suit means writing about master tailor (mastru de pannu in Sardinian dialect) Paolo Modolo and his works.

    The first time I met him, velvet cloths surrounded him inside his Oriani-based workshop near Nuoro and of course he was working on a new jacket with needle and thread in his hands. Modolo’s story is about perseverance and hard work: he started as an intern at Master Corona - of course for free - and then worked for twenty two years in a coal mine so that the dream of opening up his own workshop could come true. Back then, the town of Oriani could already count on six tailoring houses, which basically owned the largest market share, but in 1995 the idea of holding an exhibition of his masterpieces turns to be successful and many personalities visit his workshop to get their suits made from velvet cloths, the house signature. The traditional Sardinian suit, worn by shepherds hailing from Gennargentu, is made of three pieces and only cut from brown or black velvet: thick corduroy for the countryside and thin for the city.  

    Modolo jackets usually are single-breasted with two or three buttons on the front, fixed back belt and four flapped pockets with buttons. The back is very peculiar, featuring two arches and one central tip (see photo). The number of arches and tips lets the observer infer which village the wearer comes from, also because back in the days specific ribbons (according to the village) were sewn from the tips of the arches down to the back belt. The five-button vest has no lapels but two pockets, the trousers have no cuffs and horizontal pockets on the front (alla carrettiera in Italian) and can feature contrast patches on the inside of the leg, especially if the wearer is going to do horse-riding. 

    The velvet cloth is by Visconti di Modrone, a supplier that even produces a special line exclusively for Modolo. Today Modolo makes suits also in different shades of colour, not only in those allowed by the tradition. His clients come all the waybfrom the United Kingdom and Japan even just for one bespoke suit made by the hands of Master Paolo, who today is supported by the son Francesco and the nephew Salvatore.    

     

    Words by Giovanni Onano

    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
    The Sardinian Chapter: Paolo Modolo The traditional Sardinian suit and the 'Mastru de pannu'
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