Carlo Brandelli, Menswear’s High Priest, Lifts The Curtain On His New Venture
Yesterday, we proposed a dozen reasons to be happy that it’s 2010. Here’s one more: Carlo Brandelli, the designer and creative director who spearheaded Kilgour’s dramatic and much lauded reinvention, is back…in a manner of speaking. Since Brandelli and the storied Savile Row house parted ways last year, a number of rumors have circulated about his intentions, including one that he had rekindled an earlier interest in the priesthood. Speaking by phone from Europe, Brandelli says now that he spent the summer taking “thousands of photographs of churches and religious iconography” as part of the research process for his new project.
Ah yes, that new project. Though he’s deliberately somewhat obscure about the details, he has set up a studio in his house outside Milan (pictured) with the intention of producing, in the words of his Web site, “limited-edition collections under the brand Carlo Brandelli.” You shouldn’t necessarily expect anything as prosaic as menswear, though. Brandelli, whose first store, Squire, was as much art gallery as clothes shop, is looking to explore, or perhaps obliterate, the line between art, design, and fashion. “The first few things I’ve done are not made out of fabric at all,” he tells Style File. “The research that’s gone into that has been the same I’ve always done, it’s just not manifested itself into recognizable clothing this time around. They’re 3-D things, but they’re not clothing. It’ll be linked to culture, let’s put it that way.”
That might sound frustrating to those of us who were simply hoping for the next iteration of those brilliant, white-edged navy suits Brandelli showed in Paris for Spring 2009. But at a time when many mainstream fashion brands are in flux, buffeted by the twin forces of recession and changing technology, it’ll be intriguing to watch a talent like Brandelli try to reinvent himself outside the system. “I’m not going into this process making commercial sense at all. I’m making no commercial sense whatsoever,” he says with a laugh. “I just want to do what’s right for now.”
For more information, visit www.carlobrandelli.com.