Carlo Brandelli works as a designer and artist, focusing especially on Sculpture and collaborative based work.
Since his Squire Gallery project in the late1990‘s, Carlo has always worked in a creatively open and multi disciplined way, perhaps pioneering the first type of ‘Creative Director’ role which crossed across fashion and art, drawing on artistic influences to shape the language and visual communication of design. Carlo is a multi award winning designer, the studio works from London & Milan.
Carlo was born in London and his first focus was on being a sculptor.... the first materials he worked with were cloths. His first project was Squire, launched in 1992, where Carlo fused the disciplines of art, architecture, fashion and design into his work, it was the first project of it’s type to draw and encompass many different types of creative aesthetics into a concept space in Mayfair which epitomised the beginnings of cool Britannia.The gallery displayed menswear design collections within the same space as art , pieces from pop artists such as Allen Jones and Bridget Riley. Early collaborators, clients and admirers of Squire were Alexander Mcqueen ( who wore Squire designs to his first historic Givenchy interview), Isabella Blow, Kate Moss, Helmut Lang, Edward Enninful and most of the iconoclasts of design, music and style scenes. Nick Knight and Peter Saville (Photographer and Art Director respectively) were initial and current collaborators.
Squire questioned the boundaries between design, fashion and art, pioneering a more open and broad spectrum of how designers were perceived to be able to work within other creative disciplines and mediums. Initially specialising in tailoring, Carlo used traditional ideas of craft together with contemporary design principles to design fashion collections and make sculptures . The launch focused on the creation of the idea of a modern minimal slim suit as a reaction to the more commonplace looser, bigger and longer tailoring that was then widely available. It was during this period that Carlo also began to work on the idea of UNSTRUCTURED TAILORING, a design and ethos which revolutionised the mans suit and how it was perceived.
After 5 years of the concept work at Squire, unexpectedly in 2003 Kilgour approached Carlo to become Creative & Design Director. This project offered an opportunity to define and work on creating and building every element of a new Kilgour, a different ‘type’ of creative and artistic work. Carlo set the brief to create a modern hybrid menswear brand combining the craft and heritage of Savile Row with all aspects of contemporary current design. Carlo conceived the concept of the brand, designed all product, and designed the flagship spaces as well as art directing the campaigns. The project was critically and commercially very successful with Carlo receiving many diverse plaudits and awards including British GQ’s most Stylish man and being voted Menswear designer of the year in 2005 by the British Fashion Council , the highest award achievable in this field.
In 2008 Kilgour changed ownership, and after a successful debut fashion show on the catwalks of Paris, Carlo resigned, leaving the brand he founded as Kilgour due to a difference of opinion with the new owners ( who were not from a design background) on how to take Kilgour forward. In 2013 Kilgour changed hands again and once more the new owners approached Carlo to reprise his role as Freelance Creative Director, the remit was to re position Kilgour as an International Contemporary Bespoke Brand and Tailor which Carlo accepted and completed by Jan 2017.
In 2009 Carlo had already established his own studio working more discretely , working more behind the scenes taking on creative roles. The studio also focused more on artistic work, over the years Carlo’s method of working has become increasing linked to an Applied Art discipline, where craft is used as part of the creative process, closely alligned to design development. Work produced as artwork which has an eventual end use. His first sculpture solo show ‘Permanence 2010 - Travertine marble stone & gold’ opened on June 25th 2010at RCM Galerie in Paris.
In October 2011 several works were made in collaboration with the American contemporary artist Matthew Brannon with Casey Kaplan Gallery New York and shown at London’s Frieze Art Fair. Carlo produced a series of abstract coat sculptures made from rubber coated cotton as part of Matthew’s work with Casey Kaplan. Matthew Brannon’s solo show then opened in New York at Casey Kaplan in October 2011 and Carlo worked on several collaborative pieces all of which have been acquired by the acclaimed Contemporary Rennie Collection at Wing Sang gallery in Vancouver. This year also saw Carlo debut in a group show at Casey Kaplan.
2013 saw several glass works made in Murano as part of a ‘floating series’, all pieces were acquired by a private collection. In 2015 a second series entitled ‘Glass forms’ was also launched, a first experiment with found and left glass in Murano.
Carlo’s installation Reflective 3 opened in June 2015 at the Medici Palazzo Florence, the installation was a coloured glass and mirror work commissioned by Pitti in Florence as the guest designer project for menswear. 'Left Glass’ Carlo’s second sculptural glass solo show opened in Paris at RCM in January 2016.
In September 2017 Carlo's Unstructured Tailoring design work was chosen by The Museum of Modern Art 'MOMA', as part of their seminal exhibition 'Is Fashion Modern'. The pieces were on show until the end of January 2018 at the Museum of Modern Art in new York.
Carlo is a regular contributor, commentator, and lecturer to the International Design scene, lecturing particularly in Italy at design schools such as IED in Turin. His designs are represented in the permanent archive collections of several Design & Art Museums around the world including The Design Museum in London, Mode Museum in Antwerp, and the MET in New York.