Gilberto Calzolari Spring Summer 2020 Collection
Represented by Guitar Advertising & PR.
A year of conflict and awareness, a battlefield where we heal our wounds, mend the scars of our planet, and create a new sustainable future.
The global strike on March 15, 2019, in which millions of individuals spontaneously poured into the streets of thousands of cities, all over the world, following the appeal of a courageous Swedish girl, marked the point of no return for a society that has decided to put a stop to the on-going abuse perpetrated against our planet, of which the recent wildfires in Brazil, Siberia, Spain, Greece, Africa and Indonesia are only the latest reminder. From here, a new conversation on eco-sustainable fashion must sprout, which does not hide the fractures of our society and the reality we are living, but rather exhibits them as scalps and weapons to undertake a battle where our future is at stake. Hence the idea of a nomadic and warrior woman, fierce in her gait in a post-technological desert: an amazon who did not lose her romantic trappings, but rather turned them into functional and symbolic paraphernalia for her purpose.
The silhouette moves between experimentation, graphism and a primitive minimalism in close contact with the bare earth, in which garments with a vague safari memory made of stretch cotton canvas, in beige-sand shades, alternate with military uniforms, enriched with multi-purpose pockets revisited in a glamorous key with precious jacquard camouflage fabrics, on which the military insignia are ornamental fluttering ribbons of raw cotton. Similarly, the 80s’ yellow and black tracksuit is transformed into a technical and functional combat uniform.
In this physical and metaphysical desert, made out of sand and industrial debris, emblematic garments – and yet opposed to each other – are, on one hand, the tribal dress in ecological “cork fabric”, obtained from very thin sheets of natural cork coupled with certified GOTS organic cotton, with fringes enriched with lead-free Swarovski crystals; and on the other hand the ultra high-tech garments made with the upcycling of burst airbags, born thanks to a partnership with Volvo Car Italia. But the dichotomy between technological and tribal is also evident in the belts: some in fabric, to wrap the figure in a profoundly feminine manner, others derived from the seat belts of dismantled cars.
Moreover, almost monastic pieces in their raw simplicity are furrowed by deep side and front slits, or by sensual V-shaped necklines; structured dresses in “nude” organza contrast with layered ethnic skirts with pleated black organza panels, while wide asymmetrical skirts flutter around the body like war banners.
The materials range from organic printed cotton twill to satin derived from recycled polyester, from the brand new biodegradable cotton canvas to the optical macramé lace that resembles pneumatic tyres: a clear reference to the largest tyre landfill in the world, in the Kuwait desert.
The color palette starts with sand and ecru tones and then suddenly lights up with red, in the pleated dress, and with neon yellow in the skirt with reflective inserts, as if to disseminate alarm signals, and then gives way to the glossy black of garments in raw-cut varnish and to the petroleum green of technical cotton; colours that represent the industrial pollution that contaminates the precious aquifers, pitch-black and steeped in oil slurries, up to the appearance of prints in the shape of oil spill on the light dresses in ruched organza.
A “militant” Spring / Summer collection, where, surprisingly, the natural element is almost completely absent, with the exception of the black and white graphics of palm trees, as reproduced on a faded postcard, almost an oasis in the desert, the mirage of a extinct world. After all, the collection deals flat-out with the current and threatening theme of the desertification of our planet.
As in all Gilberto Calzolari collections, there is no lack of cinematic references. In this case “Dune”, the science-fiction cult film from visionary director David Lynch, but also the post-atomic imagery of “Mad Max”: endless expanses of sand and debris in a steampunk scenario, a timely cautionary tale of a society which is victim of its own technological progress. Today more than ever we are aware that our planet is in danger: hopefully this newfound consciousness can show us the way to a better future.
Gilberto Calzolari is a luxury prêt-à-porter brand made in Italy with a “green” heart. His style is represented by the demi-couture dress: fresh, glamorous and romantic – an elegant and timeless design expressed in a refined silhouette of clean lines, exquisite retro details and unexpected combinations. Precious fabrics, complemented by the highest quality in production techniques and tailoring craftsmanship, bear the hallmarks of a brand with a strong identity that is in tune with the needs of contemporary living and reclaims the values of environmental sustainability as well as elegance and excellence typical of luxury Made in Italy, against the prevailing tyranny of today’s fast fashion.
THE FASHION DESIGNER
Gilberto Calzolari was born and raised in Milan, where he graduated at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. After an impressive career of 15+ years in the fashion industry working for some of the most prestigious international luxury brands such as Marni, Alberta Ferretti, Valentino, Miu Miu and Giorgio Armani, in 2015 decided it was time to create his own. His first collection, FW 2017-18, entitled “My Arctic Heart”, was an ode to nature and to a world on the verge of extinction and, for the occasion, he partnered with Polar Bears International, the world’s leading non-profit organisation dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the polar bear and its habitat. That was followed by the SS 2018 collection “Exotica”, and the FW 2018-19, entitled “2046”, which was first introduced at the Showcase event during Altaroma and then presented in the official calendar of the Milano Fashion Week in February 2018, and in a special runway show event in Rome. The SS 2019 collection, entitled “Une Partie de Campagne”, earned him the prestigious Franca Sozzani GCC Award for Best Emerging designer at the Green Carpet Fashion Award Italia 2018, while the FW 2019-2020, entitled “Unnatural” premiered in an event show during the Milano Fashion Week and was also invited to the Monte Carlo Fashion Week, where Calzolari was awarded with the Monte Carlo Fashion Award for best Emerging Designer for his contribution to sustainable fashion.