GCDS — God Can’t Destroy Streetwear — isn’t just streetwear anymore.
Fresh off new majority investment from the Made in Italy Fund, designer Giuliano Calza has his eyes set on the Hollywood red carpet and international expansion.
The film’s trippy theme, complete with amusing nug-like runway shrubbery, set a tone for the elevated but still irreverent offering. There were a handful of red carpet-ready looks, including a sexy cut-and-draped black jersey mermaid gown with panels of smoke gray dégradé sequin-embroidered organza and a very-Mackie tinsel-embellished leotard jumpsuit, both of which would look at home on the Grammys stage come March 21.
“My friends like Dua and other celebrities have asked for things for the red carpet, but we didn’t have those kinds of looks,” the designer said over Zoom. “I wanted to do it, but I wanted to do it GCDS,” he said.
Calza decided to shoot in London, where he has a store in Soho, as part of a plan to take the show on the road to international markets. “I was scared to lose control because I don’t want to make the McDonald’s of fashion and with a product like mine, it’s really easy. If you take out the magic, and just start selling T-shirts, that’s it,” he said of taking on a new majority investor. “But the idea is to expand in the American market, which is unexplored, I have I think 14 stores there, which is nothing, and China is OK, but I want to do more. I also want to be more sustainable, which means we have to spend more money.”
True to brand form, the season featured several collaborations, one with sustainable suede-like fabric-maker Alcantara, which he used to craft tracksuits and dresses, with Italian “granny candy” Leone, as Calza calls it, which inspired the tongue-in-cheek GCDS edibles show theme, and with Moon Boots. (“I signed the collaboration and then saw Kim Kardashian West wearing them on Instagram, and thought, good choice,” he said.)
Even with the more serious mood, the collection was still club-ready, with plenty of stretch minidresses, some with early 2000s throwback crystal thong cutouts; Max Headroom-reminiscent suits, patent leather pants and elevator boots for men. There was also a Tweety bird faux fur cap, dress and boots get-up (trippy, indeed) and a few other Warner Bros. character appearances.
“Can you imagine the crazy maniac who wants this piece?” Calza laughed, holding up a green sequin full length coat with Daffy Duck’s mug on the back. “I’m curious about the evolution of what is going to be fashion,” he said. “There is a need for a grownup to have toys.”