I’ve always been immensely interested by Vienna’s history, architecture and music. As a thriving metropolis during its golden era, the Viennese were very particular about their personal style and they remain just as fastidiously fashionable today. It was one of my ‘missions’ during this recent visit to Vienna, to dig into the very essence of Viennese dress code, from yesteryear and today.
Viennese style is impeccable from head to toe; a debonair and jaunty hat, a well starched shirt and a superbly tailored suit in a luxurious fabric. A piece of luxurious neckwear and pocket handkerchief, even a delicate pocket watch with an elegant and ornate walking stick, and a pair of incredibly well-crafted shoes. Every detail shows their personal style, and reflects the pride in their culture. As someone with a penchant for refined men’s style, whilst I was visiting Vienna I was not about to let this golden opportunity slip away, tracing the roots of the finest Viennese men’s style.
It was a sunny day when I was headed to the Dorotheum, one of the most prominent auction houses in Vienna, to visit their exhibition of precious collectibles and art. Winding my way around the streets in the city center lead me to Spiegelgasse; a tranquil street in spite of it’s central location, surrounded by historic attractions such as the Spanish Riding School and the Albertina. I passed by the window of a very understated store; a little red shop with a nostalgic wooden frame with a beautiful display of fine shirts, neck ties and pocket handkerchiefs caught my eye, and that’s the moment that I let myself be drawn into the Philippe Perzi Vienna store; a luxurious shirt maker and treasure trove of men’s apparel.
Upon entering the store, I was greeted by the proprieter, Mr. Johann Perzi, who co-runs the business with his son, Philippe. The more we talk, the more I find out about this brand and the story behind the label which began with Johann’s apprenticeship to the fashion house founded by CM Frank, renowned tailor to the royal families of continental Europe. After many years in the rag trade with experience as a buyer for some of the top luxury menswear brands, 10 years ago, Johann and his son, Philippe decided to establish their own label, Philippe Perzi Vienna. Having an eye for selecting the finest fabric, conscious of craftsmanship and attention to detail, Johann and Philippe have taken the label to the next level, establishing the store as the go-to menswear boutique for the Viennese conosgenti and anyone who dares to delve into the world of high quality menswear.
I was instantly moved by Johann’s pro-activeness while he showed me a couple of beautifully made shirts. Despite my size proving a bit of a challenge for shopping in Vienna, Johann was very helpful in narrowing down some of the signature styles that he had in his store.
First I try a dark blue and white bengal stripe shirt named, ‘Midnight Tango’, a classic business shirt cut to a tailored fit with French cuff and cutaway collar. The shirt works well with a polished navy suit, and is made from 100 2-ply Egyptian cotton in Royal Twill; a comfortable and luxurious fabric to the touch and looks utterly smart and timelessly stylish. Next I try a white club collared shirt named ‘Eton.’ This shirt pleased me in many ways, thanks to its prestigious look with the royal blue and white stripe for the body and rounded white collar. This classic shirt is designed for the gentleman who belongs to the ‘well-dressed’ club and is made from a much finer fabric in 140 2-ply Egyptian cotton. Poplin offers extra comfort and luxuriousness to this shirt, ideal to go with a preppy bowtie or a club crest necktie. For something less formal and perfect for a hot summer day, an icy blue shirt named, ‘Varena’ is without doubt, a great option. Timeless classic and elegant this is a shirt that you can either dress up with a necktie, or simply wear open necked, paired with a pair of dark denim jeans for a stylish look to go out for dinner.
Apart from the refined shirts, Philippe Perzi Vienna also has a wide range of accessories to accompany the superbly made shirt collection; we’re talking neck ties, pocket handkerchiefs, socks braces and knitwear. I eventually settled for a classic pastel blue and white stripe tie as I believe its versatility means I’ll wear it on many different occasions.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of time and destiny. I never would’ve expected that my Viennese style mission could’ve been so easy when I was simply enroute to an art and collectibles exhibition. I believe that’s the way the universe works; if you have a passion and idea in your head, if you send out those positive vibes, then the universe responds, not unlike the immense passion of Johann and his son, Philippe; their dedication to creating a refined shirt and menswear collection that has helped to shape Viennese men’s dress code with their own language and style. For those of you aren’t fortunate enough to visit the Philippe Perzi Vienna store in Vienna, they have an online store with a range of shirts and accessories and they ship internationally.
Image courtesy of Philippe Perzi Vienna