By  on June 18, 2009

Next week in Milan, C.P. Company will unveil its first collection from head designer Wallace Faulds, the former design chief for John Galliano men’s wear.

For Faulds, the transition has been huge. Three months ago he relocated from Paris to Milan and traversed the distance between two “polar opposites,” he said. He left a brand known for extreme showmanship and unrestrained decoration for one best known for its utilitarian outerwear and high-tech fabrics. Founded in 1975 by Italian designer Massimo Osti, C.P. Company’s most iconic design is a jacket with goggles built into the hood.

Faulds succeeded Alessandro Pungetti, who had been there for eight years. Although Faulds said he has taken care not to introduce any influence that wouldn’t make sense for C.P. Company, he believes the change of personnel will be quite obvious in the spring collection.

“I changed pretty much everything in a lot of ways. When I first came, the first thing I did was try to absorb the genetics and the history, to work out where its roots were,” he said. He was bowled over by the history of textile innovation, especially with regard to color processing. The company catalogues all of its color recipes, for example. But he also discovered the brand was not always pigeonholed for sportswear and outerwear.

“It was all aspects of the male wardrobe. That’s been neglected. So I want to address the full men’s wardrobe. You’ll see tailored clothing, casual clothing and sport-influenced clothing. I’m trying to reflect the needs of a modern, international male. If you look at men in Paris or Tokyo or Milan, there are a lot of similarities in the way men put themselves together. There’s not a heavy emphasis on any one thing,” he said.

He recognized the importance of continuing the company’s heritage of textile advancement.

“They’re amazing with fabric research and development. In a lot of ways I see C.P. Company like an engineering company,” Faulds said. “The technical dyeing facilities that we have became the basis of a study into color [for spring]. But what inspired me really was the historical analysis of the label, the balance of color and modernizing the male wardrobe by developing a new form of casual chic through fabric, silhouette and style.

“After analyzing it, I tried to bring in more creativity, to look at it from outside, but that doesn’t mean I’ll do something theatrical. That’s not the nature of C.P. Company,” he said. “The only thing I’m bringing from Galliano is what I learned from working with John. His is obviously a very, very different style, but one thing you get from John is the creative process. You don’t give yourself boundaries.”

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