Paninaro, Paninaro-o-o-o

The Italian Casuals

The paninari scene in Italy had a few things in common with the casuals scene in the UK. Both sub-cultures began at a similar time, concentrated in the early 80s, and adopted fashion labels to make them their own. There were few overlaps, though both paninari and casuals liked to wear Burlington Argyle socks.
Liverpool casuals wore a lot of tweed
Socks aside, the paninari wore a stylised American look, big buckled belts, puffa jackets, Timberland boots. Definitely not the casual way. The early casual look took a mod attitude and attention to detail to sportswear. The casual might wear agonise over whether to wear a Lacoste or Fred Perry polo shirt or a polo neck beneath his Pringle sweater, then have to decide on an Aquascutum or Burberry golfing jacket with matching scarf in the house check. Liverpool casuals wore a lot of tweed, including deer stalker hats. This is rarely documented, but it happened.
Italo rarities
While they weren't zipping between fast food outlets on their scooters and buying clothes, I like to think the paninari were listening to some of the better Italo tunes of the day. It's interesting how Italo disco has become such a collectable genre. The rarity of some of the tracks gives it something of the appeal that old northern soul records have to mods. This is a track from the poppy end of the genre, but I never tire of hearing it. I know little of Jo Squillo, but I don't think any other tracks she recorded have gained much traction with Italo collectors and DJs.


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