TRUE DEL­I­CACY

A glimpse be­hind the high­lighter hues of Delpozo’s Re­sort 2018 col­lec­tion

S/ - - CONTENTS - BY RANDI BERGMAN

Given the ef­fects that the 24/7 news cy­cle

has had on style, one could eas­ily as­sume that the only things that mat­tered were Insta-bait and faster-than-fast fash­ion. But look be­yond the head­lines and the ref­er­en­tial re­peats, and you’ll find some­thing more: some­where out there, there’s still a place for magic.

En­ter Delpozo, the Span­ish la­bel which has been mak­ing in­ter­na­tional waves (del­i­cate ones at that) for its fresh take on fem­i­nin­ity and old-world crafts­man­ship since its re­launch in 2012.

Delpozo’s clothes are like a win­dow into Ce­cil Beaton’s 1950s so­ci­ety pho­tos—an en­chant­ing an­ti­dote to re­al­ity that re­calls the way fash­ion used to make you feel. And maybe that’s be­cause the brand is steeped in her­itage. Orig­i­nally launched un­der the moniker “Jesús del Pozo” in the ’70s, the brand was beloved lo­cally for its em­pha­sis on in­di­vid­u­al­ity and in­tri­cacy.

Af­ter the death of its founder, the brand brought on Josep Font, a mul­ti­tal­ented ar­chi­tect-turned-de­signer, as cre­ative di­rec­tor. Born in Santa Per­pè­tua de Mo­goda, a small Cat­alo­nian town north of Barcelona, Font orig­i­nally pur­sued a ca­reer in ar­chi­tec­ture at the be­hest of his fam­ily. “Ar­chi­tec­ture gave me the tools of pro­por­tion that I ap­ply in my col­lec­tion,” he says. “But even be­fore fin­ish­ing my de­gree, I started tak­ing pat­tern classes, with­out my fam­ily know­ing.” Font even­tu­ally switched gears, launch­ing an epony­mous line in 1991, which he helmed un­til Delpozo came calling.

With Font’s lead­er­ship, Delpozo has gone global, re-launch­ing in 2012 and mov­ing its shows to New York. In its new in­car­na­tion, the la­bel in­tro­duced prêt-à-cou­ture, a niche hy­brid of ready-to-wear and cou­ture now be­ing ref­er­enced by brands such as Mai­son Margiela and Schi­a­par­elli. The niche proves es­pe­cially ap­peal­ing, given the re­tail mar­ket’s fluc­tu­a­tions. “Delpozo is not about a ‘see now, buy now’ model; it’s about ap­ply­ing cou­ture tech­niques and adapt­ing them to to­day,” says Font. “We have hand em­broi­dery in many pieces and that takes time. Maybe it seems to be go­ing against the trend, but there are a lot of cus­tomers that are look­ing for qual­ity and unique­ness over quan­tity and speed.”

The brand’s pieces fre­quently fea­ture hand em­broi­dery and flo­ral ap­pliqués, but don’t mis­take Delpozo for fri­vol­ity—its sharp con­trasts are what set it apart.

For the Re­sort 2018 col­lec­tion, Font drew in­spi­ra­tion from silent film footage of dancer Loie Fuller, whose lan­guid move­ments take form in sculp­tural swaths of black and white. “It’s fun­da­men­tal; it’s who I am as a de­signer,” he says of his pro­cliv­ity for ar­chi­tec­tural shapes. “There are many el­e­ments from [my stud­ies] that I ap­ply to my col­lec­tions—the im­por­tance of shape and vol­ume and the most im­por­tant el­e­ment of all: bal­ance. It’s all about pro­por­tion.” The col­lec­tion’s tech­ni­colour hues de­rive from an un­ex­pected source: the “pe­cu­liar liq­uid land­scapes” of Lan­zarote, Turkey, and Aus­tralia.

“My start­ing point comes from an ex­hi­bi­tion I vis­ited or a trip I took, and then sev­eral ideas start cir­cling in my mind,” says Font of his de­sign process. “I end up choos­ing two quite dif­fer­ent ideas and fuse them.” Delpozo’s light and airy Spring 2018 col­lec­tion was a sim­i­lar meld­ing: of Maria Svar­bova’s swim­ming pool paint­ings and ’50s band­leader Xavier Cu­gat’s os­ten­ta­tious style.

An­other di­chotomy cen­tral to Delpozo is its strong Span­ish her­itage and de­sire to be­come a ma­jor fash­ion player. The brand main­tains its ate­lier and head­quar­ters in Madrid, rather than re­lo­cat­ing to a cen­tral hub. “It re­ally helps to be out of the ‘fash­ion cir­cle’ and to work with­out be­ing in­flu­enced,” says Font. And it seems to be work­ing—Delpozo’s first in­ter­na­tional out­post will open in Dubai later this year.

“Delpozo is not about a ‘see now, buy now’ model; it’s about ap­ply­ing cou­ture tech­niques and adapt­ing them to to­day.”

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