MFW | Gilberto Calzolari Spring Summer 2022 Collection

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My SS22 collection, perhaps the most overtly “summery” I have ever created, combines three different inspirations. On the one hand, it was like going back to my childhood, to the never-ending Summers spent at the seaside, and in my mind, I see the colourful clothes with bright floral prints that my mother used to wear – a woman who still does not have a single black dress in her wardrobe. On the other hand, I was inspired by the Summer breeze of the French Riviera in the 1960s: the years of icons such as Brigitte Bardot, directors such as Roger Vadim, and avant-garde designers such as Pierre Cardin. Hence the title of the collection, “Conte d’été” (A Summer’s Tale), another cinematic reference (Éric Rohmer) in the name of a delicate and nostalgic memory. Finally, the third source of inspiration is strongly linked to the DNA of my brand, deeply rooted in the Milanese humus where I took my first creative steps in the world of fashion, shaped by the image of a sophisticated and aristocratic woman, open to the most diverse cultural trends and international influences

Gilberto Calzolari-Creative Director and Designer


So here is a Spring Summer collection eye-catching without frills and easy to wear, in the city as on vacation, made up of dresses, skirts and shorts with clean shapes and vintage-flavoured volumes, such as the ’60s “bon ton” coat in floral print linen, worn over a yellow two-piece pin-up swimsuit, or like the green viscose trapeze dress with ruffle sleeves, or the orange top combined with a high-waisted swimsuit. The references to the beaches of Okinawa, and more generally to Japan – another constant of my brand, starting from the logo of intertwined ginkgo leaves – explode in the fabric origami in the shape of a pinwheel, the leitmotiv of this collection, applied on dresses or even hand-sewn together to form a top, a miniskirt, and the final dress. Never as in this collection have the chromatic combinations stand out so boldly: a range of bright and vibrant colours from pine green to fluorescent green, from pastel pink to purple, from orange to turquoise, from the brown background, from which large printed daisies bloom, to touches of white that culminate in the mini-dress in Seaqual polyester duchesse entirely recycled from plastics recovered from the sea, and in the couture jacket with lantern sleeves in SFC-certified linen (whose crew neck displays the only black detail of the entire collection).

Always opposed to the conventional representation of women, the dresses adapt to the different physicalities of the female body, such as the wide sleeveless tulip dresses or the midi shirt-dresses in cotton canvas with double drawstring at the waist; while a newfound feminine awareness, playful and sensual, juggles in a sophisticated balance between opposites, where exquisite multi-pleated skirts with deep slits coexist with masculine bowling shirts (striped or in fluorescent green shantung), and delicate pink lurex origami tops are worn over sporty Bermuda shorts.

Finally, the accessories: delightful “lampshade” hats to protect the face from the sun, and origami bags in cotton canvas or vegan white nappa, both made in reversible print. The result is a collection that is a burst of pure energy, vibrant and colourful but always faithful to my DNA of a chic and elegant woman: a fresh and naive collection, at the same time sensual and sophisticated, but with a contemporary and urban touch.

Regenerate, recoup, recycle: this has always been my motto. I strongly believe in original and creative sustainability, which in its eccentricity can go out on the street and be absorbed by the mainstream. On the one hand, the use of fabrics with renowned certifications, such as Seaqual polyester Duchesse entirely recycled from plastics recovered from the sea, SFC certified linen and viscose, or GOTS certified organic cotton and silk organza. On the other hand, the recovery of existing fabrics from inventories and historical archives of renowned textile companies.

In addition, the most iconic garments of this collection – the miniskirt in purple lurex, the pink top, and the multicoloured dress – are tailored-made creations of couture craftsmanship made with folded and hand-sewn origami obtained by recovering the fabric leftovers from the scraps generated in the making of the samples, just like the embroidery on the organza blouse is obtained from the scraps of the printed linen fabric, in a virtuous example of circular and responsible fashion that, through creativity and the reuse of raw materials, has a lower environmental impact on our planet. A process that has also been extended to the creation of the accessories. In fact, the hats (a special project by Altalen exclusively created for Gilberto Calzolari) and the bags were also made with the scraps of the sample fabric. As for the shoes – sandals made of vegan leather – they were kindly provided by Kallisté, a luxury footwear brand that through constant research and innovation supports the values of environmental sustainability.

Gilberto Calzolari is a high-end prêt-à-porter brand made in Italy with a “green” heart that believes that elegance and beauty must go hand in hand with respect for our planet. His style is represented by a glamorous and timeless design expressed in a refined silhouette of clean lines, exquisite 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 and code of ethics in tune with the needs of contemporary living, where innovation and environmental sustainability meet the creativity and elegance for which Made in Italy is known around the world, against the prevailing practices of today’s fast fashion.

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 Calzolari decided it was time to create his own high-end prêt-à-porter brand of sustainable fashion made in Italy, which bears his name.

For his contribution to sustainable fashion, Calzolari has won prestigious awards such as the Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Award as Best Emerging Designer in 2018, the Monte Carlo Fashion Award in 2019 and the C.L.A.S.S. Icon Award 2020, “awarded to a visionary creative who has managed to combine fashion and design with responsible innovation and communication, raising awareness to new sustainable values”.

His collections have been presented during the Milano Fashion Week, Showcase Altaroma, the Next Trend Event in Milan and Rome, the Budapest Central Europe Fashion Week, the Monte Carlo Fashion Week, Expo China, White Milano, White’s WSM Fashion Reboot, and the Qingdao International Fashion Industries Alliance Festival.