Mastering Minimalism | Kilgour

The Rake concludes on Kilgour’s collection for Autumn/Winter ’16 from London Collections: Men.

Let's not beat about the bush; Carlo Brandelli's creations for Kilgour Autumn/Winter '16 are truly extraordinary. Architectural, precise, richly textural and above all, immaculately constructed - Brandelli perhaps more than any other contemporary menswear designer, is redefining the identity of the suit in the modern world.

Presented in the house's immaculate Savile Row shop, a curated selection of looks were set against one of Kilgour's characteristic art installations; two walls hung with several hundred translucent tailoring patterns, which reflect the attention to design, precision of construction and the craft of tailoring at its most elevated - as is applied to this latest collection.

As Brandelli himself explains: 'The entire set of several hundred paper pattern pieces is shown along side the actual tailoring collection, so in one bespoke space you have the design work, every pattern piece that the collection is made from, and of course this season's pieces.

The design and craft sit side by side, a transparent presentation of all the work that goes into a single season, presented as the 'collection' in every sense. The idea is a simple one, to show a literal and very direct link between craft and design.'

This link is made abundantly clear through the degree of technical tailoring mastery that Brandelli insists upon in his work, and one dares to venture that his focus upon craft goes far beyond that of other contemporary menswear designers; from exquisite asymmetric lapels, to hand fly-fronted one-button closure on coats, softly rolled stand collars and inverted lapels and pocket flaps, all testify to his exacting standards.

The colour palette throughout remains restrained, with an emphasis on tonal, monochromatic dressing - which allows for the structural quality of the garments to shine though unadulterated. Use of texture is carefully considered and fabrics are softer than ever. Boucle and melange cloths also soften the collection's aesthetic, lending it a louche edge, in spite of its architectural quality.

In short, A/W '16 is a masterful manipulation of the traditional codes of formal menswear, and Brandelli's interpretation of these codes takes the conventional suit and completely shifts its role in the wardrobe of the contemporary, successful man. Indeed, if one house on Savile Row can be credited with experimenting with the very future of the suit itself, that house is undoubtedly Kilgour.


January 2016


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