From Naples to high-end fashion displays, the GCDS Spring/Summer 2024 collection is more than mere clothing; it’s a poignant journey of homecoming. This season, Giuliano Calza, the creative mastermind behind the brand, ventures far from his often whimsical world of fantasies and cartoons. Instead, he draws deeply from the familiar memories of his Neapolitan roots, crafting an innovative collection that showcases not only his heritage but also the future he envisions for GCDS.
Calza’s hometown hues of light blue, yellow, and wood brown tell stories of yesterday, simultaneously weaving new narratives. The textures and materials he employs, from flat-ironed raffia taking on 3D logo forms to printed leather evoking memories of vintage wooden furniture, offer a tactile sense of his past. Surprisingly, even a telephone from his grandmother’s house has been given a fresh breath of life, reborn in a chic brown tone.
Akin to Naples’ scenic shores, pleats emulate waves, while chains and hooks allude to the city’s sturdy anchors, placing Naples squarely in the contemporary fashion limelight. There’s a playfulness too: lurex knit resembling spiky surfaces which, upon touch, prove soft, mirroring the dual nature of Calza’s hometown. Asymmetries hint at how distant memories can be skewed, yet they pull in younger enthusiasts by reshaping classic fits into relaxed silhouettes. The accompanying music – a fusion of quintessential southern melodies – paints auditory portraits of Italian heritage within GCDS‘s modern landscape.
Yet, the true brilliance of this collection lies not just in the fabrics or motifs but in the sentiment and the setting. Calza chose to host the show right at the heart of GCDS: its headquarters. This move harks back to the classical atelier presentations, allowing attendees to intimately engage with the garments and their stories. By doing this, Calza underscores the essence of GCDS: creating everyday objects infused with meaning, designed for real individuals to don and adore.
The assortment is rich and varied, encompassing denims and leathers, punctuated by hints of straw and sophisticated tweeds. Loafers paired with pristine white socks, structured tailoring, elongated ribbed dresses, and sprinklings of glamour all coalesce with an underlying spontaneity. Subtlety is the game, with the GCDS logo manifesting discreetly, even cleverly as the heel of a shoe. Elevating the collection further are accessories like a reimagined wooden bakelite telephone bag and distinct platform heels, which nod to bourgeoisie charm, albeit with Calza’s unique twist.