Alberto Incanuti is romantically fascinated with time and the ineffable patina of history; even the tag on his clothes is taken from an antique stamp. Living proof that childhood experiences can offer lifelong inspiration, Incanuti recalls "the smell of fabrics coming out of the machines in my parents' factory" as an early fashion memory, and also grandma's box full of old dresses and uniforms. His best pieces — crumpled, vaguely military coats, cropped jackets, chunky knits, and flimsy tops — actually look like treasure finds from such a box, minus the vintage-y feel. Lived-in tailoring in washed-out luxurious fabrics, hidden charms and unpredictable details are his forte. The stress on luscious tactility produces a decidedly cerebral allure. "I strive for something that's whispered rather than shouted," says the self-taught designer, whose blue-chip resume includes consulting for some of Italy's top manufacturers. He started his own line in London at the end of the '90s with a few customized pieces, until the venture eventually morphed into a complete collection for men and women. A self-confessed conceptualist, Incanuti handles notions of classic and modern with unparalleled subtlety.