Aldo Maria Camillo Debuts His Namesake Brand As Part Of This Year’s Pitti Uomo
With stints at Valentino, Berluti, Zegna and Cerutti, yesterday’s knockout show from Aldo Maria Camillo conveyed a message of a “new luxury”. Translated this meant a series impeccably cut pieces which came with their own “lived in look”.
New but not new looking, Camillo worked tirelessly on new techniques with English wools to “soften them”. Open and bright, handsome too, Camilo took time to explain his new AW19 collection, as ‘guest of honour’ at this week’s Pitti menswear fair in Florence.
“Fashion has no seasons to me,” he says. It’s the morning after the show; chance for a quick chat sat in the reception of a chic local hotel. He’s tired “but doing fine”. He’s riffing and enjoying the idea that a man’s clothes can “take on the personality of the owner – they live and age with us together,”. Camillo wants his clothes to get wrinkles like an old face. He likes wrinkles.
He achieved this by washing and deconstructing various beautiful fabrics he sourced in Europe and the UK. A navy pea coat, comes in a military fabric he found in England. “It was hard wearing but I took it home and experimented with it, washed it, softened it. It keeps its strength but it’s now broken down.” It’s certainly a beautiful pea coat. You’s only want one and this is it.
He believes in archetypes like this. If something’s not broken why… you know the rest.
Despite working with the best mills and cloths and years of tailoring expertise, there’s no suit today: a vintage Levi’s denim jacket – the one with shearling inside and collar – a white tee and jeans. It’s these beautiful and simple pieces that inspire him most. “It’s about what I like now,” he says. For his first own-name collection he’s titled ‘Radici’ – Italian for root – he wanted a “compact wardrobe”. He got it. It’s less of a collection, more a list of absolute essentials and the kind we last saw down feat well at Helmut Lang; one of his heroes. “It was Helmut who made me get into fashion design. I wanted to be that man.”
Camillo is refreshingly honest about his likes and dislikes. The off-the-record conversation we had was something else. In his youth he raided his father’s wardrobe and wore his jackets to school “they made me feel like the characters I’d seen in films and singers in bands.” Everything he does is grounded I reality and function and real lives. When he passes interesting people in the street, he stares “I like to observe them…I imagine their lives through the clothes they wear. I invent stories the clothes suggest to me.”
The autumn line-out of fine-gauge vests, slim cotton pants, moleskin too, that incredible pea coat, and a shearling with a special aged crackle he experimented with (he’s always experimenting) speaks to a man with a lot to do. He’s busy. He’s not got the time to worry about clothes and out-there trends. He doing things and the clothes need to fit into his day; not alter his day around them. The lifestyle comes first and the clothes fit into that. It’s modular. “I wanted all the pieces to be able to “slot into” with the guy’s other clothes and designers.” Camillo’s quality pieces will certainly slot into just about any luxury wardrobe. It works. It has a luxurious ease. Feedback on Feb new collection has been great, too. He’s happy and smiling. What a nice, talented man.