A New Pared-Back Look for GCDS’ FW23 Collection

GCDS has pivoted away from viral appraise, focusing on the wearability of clothing through finding inspiration within the comfort of home

Looming over the set of the GCDS FW23 Ready-to-wear show was a massive cat, his eyes scanning back and forth across the venue as a subtle change in direction occurred for the Italian brand. The cat’s name is Kittho, modeled after Creative Director Giuliano Calza’s own feline, and he acts as a symbol for Calza’s inspiration for the collection; both the intimacy and freedom that happen at home. For this season, Calza has designed a more pared-back version than he is known for in his exploration of what happens behind closed doors. Coinciding with the inspiration from the home is a notable step away from moments of virality within the clothing, with the show notes describing that Calza wants to make clothing “meant to be worn, not tricks intended to trigger viral yet virtual response.”

This sense of taking a step back from view-grabbing looks has been one of the most palpable undercurrents of fashion month so far, and it marks quite an interesting choice for GCDS, which is known for its clever and often sexy reimagining of kitsch. Most notably in Calza’s lane-switch into a more wardrobe-centered collection is his color palette, consisting predominantly in black and chocolate brown with color accents in chartreuse and baby pink. A large portion of the collection seems to be rooted in a sense of formality, with a straightforward white button down and black tie as a base for looks that are then toyed with in their pairing with leather corseting, baby pink tweed overcoats, or huge fuzzy chartreuse jackets that have been modeled after bath mats.

While it is clear that Canza has focused on a more simplified version of designing clothing this season, his signature stamp of kitsch is still sprinkled throughout the collection. Accessories are consistently playful, from bags that have been modeled after old-school rotary telephones to a crystalized ball version of Kittho the cat. The sole print of the collection was also a mirror of Kittho, resembling a tabby cat fur pattern and materialized in a textural combination of fuzzy knit and yellow sequins. Towards the middle of the show, a group of looks was unified by their use of safety pins as fastenings for panels of garments to connect to one another in the creation of a final piece. Most consistent to the GCDS core is the offering of super-sexy silhouettes, a design practice that Canza has proven himself to be more than proficient in. Cutouts are large and hang low on the waist while mini skirts and party-girl dresses are made with ultra-high hems. 

GCDS as a brand has become known for its referencing of pop culture, creating clothing that is loud and speaks to the world around us, which is largely defined by the internet. This choice to go home, to design for design’s sake more than the sake of Instagram is a bold move for the Italian fashion house, and Canza has found a clever balance in creating clothing that is encapsulating his audience while ultimately maintaining a strong sense of wearability. This transition of GCDS from a vivid technicolor purveyor of all things rainbow and sexy into a more subdued execution of the design is a crystal clear sign of the zeitgeist in fashion this season — with global economic, political, and environmental uncertainty, designers must pivot to focus on creating clothing that can be worn and worn again and again, focusing on the longevity and resourcefulness of a garment, rather than its ability to garner double taps.


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