Nostalgic, rebellious and whimsical – three words you feel instantly in the presence of GCDS, and having met Giuliano Calza you understand why. The Italian Creative Director’s vision for fluidity in streetwear and penchant for play has led the brand to global prominence and he’s just getting started.
Outside of his love for his family, friends and favorite feline, there’s nothing Calza loves more than making clothes: “real ones, meant to be worn, not tricks intended to trigger viral responses” – a concept he addresses by adorning a gigantic cat in newspaper clippings at the center of his Milan Fashion Week runway show.
The Fall/Winter 2023 collection itself plays to the strengths of Calza’s craftsmanship from bourgeois tweed jackets to worn leathers. Safety pins appear throughout the garments as a nod to the process of fashion making and the DIY nature of styling today. While the texture play and tailoring didn’t go unnoticed, it was the bakelite telephone handle and bedazzled Kittho cat bags that stole the show.
Peep the backstage magic of the FW23 showcase above and continue scrolling to hear more about Calza’s inspirations, future ambitions and a few of his favorite things.
You say fashion is “subjected to local economic and sociological scenery.” How did your studies in political science influence what you design today? Is there a social commentary laced in each season that’s cut from the same cloth?
Definitely I do, there’s a lot of economy and a lot of politics tied to every collection. I luckily have a voice and through what I create I can send messages and maybe inspire people. I think I’ve arrived at this point having a quite caring point of view on the world through my studies and experiences. I’ve observed that often clothes are an explanation of where and who we are in a certain time or space.
What does it mean to design for pop culture, now, with social media as the format in which many of us consume moments… is fandom changing for brands and their muses?
It comes natural to me to have items or garments that are appreciated on social media, there’s no study or research about this. It creatively happens. I try to surround myself with muses and friends that give me courage and that I respect. I have to live my life and be surrounded by love while I do it. I think we are over exposed to ideas and images and our brain forgets quite easily. But, I think if the clothes and messages behind them engage your audience, it will be memorable anyway.
What can you tell us about working with Victor Castillo for this showcase?
This collection was an exploration of my favorite things in life… my cat, my memories and my favorite pieces of art. I asked Victor to make something special and he absolutely loved the idea. So, I gave away an original print to everyone to keep in their houses as a memory of this show.
“God Can’t Destroy Streetwear,” but can consumers? What does streetwear mean to you today having changed the abbreviation of your brand to “Giuliano Calza Design Studio”?
Every brand evolves and I have to constantly create new scenarios for the people who want to enjoy the ride with me. I think streetwear and designers like me have expanded this word so much that, at this point, it can’t die anyway… it just lost its original meaning. To me, a suit and a sweater have the same weight on the scale of fashion.
You often play with caricature, animation and nostalgia, with a stunning SpongeBob SquarePants theme last year. Where does this inspiration arise and is there more to come?
I think that was my peak of character collaboration. Now, I’m ready for other challenging things. I don’t want to close myself into a repetition game. I’m having so much fun with product design and I’m exploring less literal inspiration and I hope this show will prove it. Never say never but for now, SpongeBob was the perfect.. last one!
Fo you, what is a standout moment this season?
For GCDS, probably Beyoncé in GCDS or Dua Lipa in the Patrick dress. For fashion, I think I’m still gagging over the Dante infernos animal heads at Schiaparelli and I was really touched by Vivienne’s goodbye, she was and will always be the realest, punk, icon queen!
And lastly, we have to ask, what’s next?
Let’s say bubbly!!! That’s all I can say!
- Pucci’s Fashion Experience; Alexander McQueen’s London Show; Mother of Pearl Launching Sustainable Capsule
- Tier Goes From Brooklyn To Los Angeles With Its First Streetwear Pop-Up
- Alexander McQueen to Stage Spring 2023 Show in London
- Jeff Staple Predicts Streetwear’s Future and More at FN CEO Summit 2022
- Caterpillar’s WWR Line Targets Streetwear Market