The Process: The Gigi 2
Our commitment to building relationships with our principal vendors frequently prompts a rendezvous at their Design Studios in Italy during the early stages of a collection—when it is still only sketches, sheets of fabric, buttons, and the like. “The Process”, as we call it, offers a chance for a designer to share the direction and philosophy of his or her new collection while inviting our comments and suggestions.
This is a valuable experience for a number of reasons. Understanding the direction a collection is headed can significantly impact our buy while it is still time to modify design and future production. We are committed to finding exceptional clothing with unique character and meaning, and "The Process" is one way to ensure that we provide the best of the best.
By the same token, we are always growing—challenging ourselves and expanding our perspectives. Our work is our passion, and it is a pleasure to engage with talented individuals who share in the appreciation of beauty. We have great respect for Mario and Pierluigi (Gigi) Boglioli’s creations. Gigi's understanding of beauty and keen eye for finding it in all its forms are contagious. There is a feeling that radiates from their collection, a sense of authenticity.
Please let us share with you our experience behind the scenes of The Gigi’s Fall 2015 Collection, as we present you “The Process”.
Our trip begins in Milan, where our hotel directly overlooks the iconic Via Della Spiga, one of the most celebrated shopping streets in the city. Top boutiques line both sides of the stone path, where the leisurely stroll of browsing pedestrians belies the energy of the place.
We spend the day taking in the city’s many offerings, and enjoy an unforgettable dinner at La Risacca ‘6’—in our opinion the best seafood in Milan, perhaps the world. Later in the evening we return to Via Della Spiga, which is somehow even more charming at dusk, before retiring. Fair to say, this is part of the trip where work and play go hand in hand.
Not getting carried away though, we are keeping an attentive eye. We love to find new items, new styles, new inspirations, and we are in one of the world’s foremost places for this.
Just as important, however, it is no mistake that we are in the city Mario and Gigi left in order to start anew. This choice was meaningful to them, and the contrast between the two locations will not be missed.
Brescia and Bagnolo Mella
We board a train at the Milano Centrale, traveling through 100km of Northern Italian countryside to Brescia, nestled at the foot of the Alps.
The provincial capitol and one of the largest cities in the region, Brescia is famed for its historical sites, viticulture, and automotive and firearms manufacturing. It has not been known, however, for its place in the fashion industry.
Yet it is twenty minutes south of here, in the tiny township of Bagnolo Mella, that rests our final destination.
An unexpected location, and exactly what The Gigi was looking for.
In 2012, Mario and Pierluigi (Gigi) sold their interest in the family tailoring company, Boglioli, and embarked on a new venture.
Seeking to pursue their passion beyond the constraints of convention, the brothers launched The Gigi. Their work shows a respect for tradition, but also an adventurous and carefree attitude.
The essence of the collection is to expose the classics of a man's wardrobe to a "meteor shower" of colors, fabrics, and weaving techniques never before attempted. Inspirations are taken from architecture and photography, with images from city streets to the natural world being applied to the greater theme. Jacquards and Fil Coupés play integral parts in their designs. Sounds confusing, but the end result is far from it.
There is an orderly, although unconventional look to their patterns. A feel of modern design, but not over the top. Balance is the key.
Their mantra, "Don't look back", is stitched into all their creations. It reflects Gigi's passion for always being one step ahead, already proven in the iconic unconstructed Boglioli K Jacket of 1999.
Free from the distractions of the metropolis and the interference of convention, Bagnolo Mella provides a space for unencumbered creative pursuit. The Gigi’s workshop reflects this mindset. Inside one finds a pared down workspace, reminiscent of a college art classroom, with an open floor dominated by lines of tables, each covered with fabrics, clippings, and in-progress creations. No frills, no disturbance, no unwanted attention—the artist’s retreat.
Patterns of logical sequence, calmingly ordered within an imaginative space
A maze of inspiration taken from everyday life, discernable to the keen eye
Reflections of the natural world… an understanding that beauty happens,
it can’t be forced
Energy born from harmonized dimensions of symmetries and asymmetries
"Fashion dresses the man, and architecture dresses places"
Colors & Textures
Exploring the Philosophy of The Gigi's Fall Collection
Innovative interplay between elegant fabrics and stimulating colors
Subtle use of strong tones creates a visible texture,
delicately weaving a multi-sensory effect
Creating balance out of improbable combinations
Weaving techniques never before attempted
The Gigi jackets are mostly unconstructed
and unlined with natural shoulders
A feel of modern design, but not over the top
Conscious, independent, confident style
Trim, unconstructed, natural fit defined by
subtle texture and unfettered movement
Eccentric experimentation finds balance in a mature, measured theme
In 1999, Mario and Pierluigi Boglioli created the distinctive unconstructed Boglioli K Jacket—the unconventional fashion at the time.
Gigi’s style has always been one step ahead of the times. While most are simply trying to keep pace, some have yet even to notice Gigi’s movement .
The Gigi describes the nature of fashion and art as “[the] challenge…to pursue and anticipate changing times”. To us, this is an example of the brothers’ remarkable humility. Really, they are the “normalizing breakthrough” of a new classic style.
"We don’t just make jackets, we confer a real soul to them"
Below are a few pieces from The Gigi's Spring 2015 Collection.
The Gigi Ravenna
This Ravenna Jacket is made from a blend of cotton, papyrus and linen, an exclusive jacquard fabric to The Gigi that looks like linen, but doesn't wrinkle like linen. At 390 gr the fabric itself has sufficient guts that despite its unstructured tailoring, the shape is maintained like a well canvassed blazer. The jacket, cut on the Art model, is quite trim with a very contemporary look. The fabric is washed and garment dyed in true Boglioli fashion and shows faint wear marks on seams. Even though the composition of this interesting fabric should tell you that the Ravenna Jacket is a summer blazer, personally, I would use it as a year-around sport coat.
The Gigi Pescara Jacket
The Pescara blazer, cut on the Degas model, named in honor of the French painter, is a classic 3 button rolled to 2 single breasted sport coat with a high notch. The fabric is a unique three dimensional navy and white Fil Coupè in a cotton blend that, although edgy, could fit in any man's wardrobe. The fit is trim and the jacket is made in Italy.
The Gigi Taranto Jacket
The 8 button double breasted knitted blazer in 100% cotton could be added to most men's wardrobes. The Taranto fits into an increasingly popular category for us, sweater jackets for lack of a better term. The fit is slim, but the knit fabric gives it a relaxed feel. Great with various colored jeans and trousers.