Carlo Brandelli is something of a menswear guru in London, originally because of his old store Squire, and now for his creative directorship of the Savile Row institution Kilgour (Cary Grant and Fred Astaire had suits made there). So his first-ever fashion show inevitably sparked heightened levels of interest, especially because those who know him are aware of his excruciatingly high standards. Some of the inner circleNick Knight, Peter Saville, Roland Mourettraveled to Paris as backup for their buddy, and Robert del Naja from Massive Attack produced an original soundtrack. But Brandelli ultimately needed no high-powered support. He sailed through his catwalk debut.
There's a stringent classicism to Kilgour's custom-made business, and Brandelli managed to translate it to the ready-to-wear runway in an invigorating, forward-looking way. He's always been one to talk about the make of garments. Here, he didn't need to. Some jackets were cut from a mohair so sheer it was easy to see the effortful effortlessness that went into their construction. The color palette was essentially navy and white, a complement to what Brandelli was calling "design minimalism." That might mean a navy jacket with the collar shaved away, leaving only a lapel (lined, like the cuff, in white), or a sheer navy shirt with buttons concealed under a white-trimmed fly front. The signature Kilgour flourish appeared in a stripe of fabric down a trouser leg, or scattered with subtle randomness across jackets and knits. Alcantara synthetic suede made for a must-have one-buttoned blazer, paired with white trousers for a crisp dressiness. There was a purity to the look, which reminded Mouret that Brandelli was once set for the priesthood. Hey, fashion's the new religion, and Carlo will undoubtedly snare a congregation with this collection.