It’s time to play with new rules. While social networks ﬂaunt wonderful fake lives, a world full of contrasts speaks to us of a system on tilt, where nature struggles under a severe climate change, seasons have lost their meaning (and I’m not just talking about the weather), and a global crisis forces us to reinvent ourselves. As always, fashion is the perfect mirror of what is happening – at once a faithful and distorted looking glass that projects illusions but also reveals the deepest signals of a society compelled to a radical change.
Titled “Tilt System”, the new collection by Gilberto Calzolari takes these contrasts by the horns, by highlighting the contradictions and by oﬀering surprising outﬁts to be mixed and reassembled at will, in a multifaceted wardrobe where “women’s” cuts paired with “men’s” fabrics and details, winter and summer clothes together, and styles from diﬀerent eras collapse into unusual, yet always glamorous silhouettes; and bright colours, clashing black & white stripes and dissonant geometries, as in a glitch, reveal a truly contemporary aesthetic. A virtuous answer to our new consumption habits and to the most diverse seasonal requests, in a statement against the mechanisms of mass production that force us to increasingly frenzied rhythms.
Needless to say, sustainability is always at the core of the brand’s ethical values, between patterned wool from regenerated yarns; organza and crepe de chine in 100% organic and GOTS-certiﬁed silk; fake-fur; recovered vinyls and neoprene; and semi-gloss satins of recycled polyester from pet bottles, in a mix of avant-garde sustainable fabrics on one hand and, on the other, splendid warehouse stock fabrics discovered among reputable textile companies; up to the upcycling of unusual and original materials, a signature in Calzolari collections: in this case, broken umbrella sheets which, when recovered, become real dresses.
The result is precisely “Tilt System”: a virtuous example of conscious glamor that redeﬁnes the concept of luxury through the lens of sustainability, and is expressed not only in the choice of materials, but also in a new production approach. A “slow fashion” that in the name of a return to tailored quality and exclusivity, breaks with the frenetic seasonal model by oﬀering an eclectic and surprising year-long collection, which touches all seasons.
A new chapter in Gilberto Calzolari’s artistic journey and an even more radical and innovative step forward: after celebrating nature – from the Arctic to the Italian countryside – by using unexpected recycled fabrics; after analysing the dichotomy between natural and artiﬁcial with references to contemporary art; and after addressing the issues of desertiﬁcation and pollution in the previous collection of nomadic women, warriors in a post-industrial desert, now the urge for environmental sustainability engulfs the very production cycles.
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.
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 and the White’s WSM Fashion Reboot, the ﬁrst event fully dedicated to sustainable fashion and innovation.
In 2018 Calzolari was awarded with the prestigious Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Award as Best Emerging Designer, while in 2019 he won the Monte Carlo Fashion Week Award as Best Emerging Designer for his contribution to sustainable fashion.
Fashion plays a crucial role in the current climate crisis. This is no longer tolerable. We need a seismic change. Gilberto Calzolari, at the forefront of a new movement of sustainable designers, ﬁrmly believes in a diﬀerent way of creating fashion, at once glamorous, extremely creative, and environmentally conscious.
Collection after collection, Gilberto Calzolari has been pursuing sustainability in several directions:
• By using fabrics that comply with the most reliable certiﬁcates in terms of sustainability and traceability, such as GOTS, OEKO TEX, REACH, FSC, EU Ecolabel etc…
• By using cutting-edge, technologically advanced fabrics, such as, to name a few, SEAQUAL polyester derived from the plastic recovered from the sea; EVO nylon extracted from the seeds of the castor plant; eco-sustainable denim that employs regenerated cellulosic ﬁbres and reduces water consumption; wool from regenerated yarn; natural cork; organic cotton; cupro linen etc…
• By re-using already existent materials, such as stock fabrics – what Calzolari calls “beautiful forgotten fabrics” – discovered among Italian textile companies.
• By upcycling unusual materials turned into couture fabrics: from the dress made with jute coﬀee bags, with whom Calzolari won the Green Carpet Award, to the tulle sprout from nets for the packaging of citrus fruits, to the outﬁts and accessories created with exploded airbags and discarded seatbelts.
• By researching sustainable accessories and embroideries: from padding made of 100% recycled ﬁbres from PET bottles, to die-cast zippers with reused nylon, from lead-free Swarovski crystals to scrap embroidery materials.
• By adopting the ethical practices of a “slow” fashion in contrast to the disruptive impact of fast fashion.
• By using each collection to deliver a particular massage: from “My Arctic Heart”, for which he partnered with Polar Bears International, the world’s leading non-proﬁt organisation dedicated to the worldwide conservation of the polar bear and its habitat, to “Une Partie de Campagne”, an homage to the Italian countryside that employs eco-sustainable and recycled fabrics; from “Unnatural”, a highly conceptual meditation on the ﬁne line between natural and artiﬁcial; to “Dune” a militant collection that tackles the topic of pollution and desertiﬁcation.