GCDS Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear: Childhood Nostalgia With a Dark Twist

After looking back to his Neapolitan roots for spring 2023, Giuliano Calza turned back time again for fall 2024, investigating his childhood memories. At first glance the outcome couldn’t be more different: the lighthearted mood of the former was scratched away to seemingly be replaced by a new, somber atmosphere.

The transition wasn’t immediately visible, however. Immersed in dim lighting and set to the tempo of a live piano performance, the show opened with a series of pristine looks that nodded to the years of innocence, with sheer textures, ruffled trims and delicate floral appliques covering lingerie-inspired pieces for her and handsome wide-leg pants for him. Suave suits and an ankle-long coat with structured shoulders in the same color followed, before darker hues of black, gray and deep burgundy advanced in the lineup.

“I wanted to start with something pure and careless, as you are when you’re a kid. But then life takes twists and turns, and then we have to go through many experiences, as you go darker and darker,” said Calza backstage.

The collection marked another step in the brand’s evolution toward a more grown-up direction. Wool tailored coats and a plush logoed version, as well as great-looking leather separates ranging from blazer and biker jackets to gowns, made for convincing wardrobe builders for the GCDS loyal customers who are maturing with the brand, too.

Still, their Peter Pan spirits could be reassured by knowing that there’s always a good pop reference or two in Calza’s world. Cue the image of killer doll “Chucky” menacingly popping on a hoodie, while nods to Calza’s favorite Dracula were printed on cargo pants or crystalized on a strapless minidress. Hello Kitty was seemingly integrated into patterns that looked like floral graphics from afar or turned into metallic bras peeking from fitted frocks. Mattel Inc.’s Polly Pocket miniature trinkets that were sent out as show invites also informed a new versions of the GCDS signature heart-shaped bags. 

“I like the idea of not giving up the smiles and the fun,” said Calza. “But in such dramatic and dark times, we have to find a way to remind ourselves that we’re not just going to be part of this moment of history, but we can take a stand. And even just lead life with a smile is such a good stand right now.”

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