There’s a handful of envelope-pushing brands that regularly augment fashion’s vocabulary and reduce us here at JC Report to obsequious student types with their every showing. Viktor&Rolf’s layered lessons, Alexander McQueen‘s fearless females, all things Fendi, and Boudicca‘s bounded boldness are some examples of the labels that make up our avant guardian anthology. However, it’s in the enigmatic Carol Christian Poell — the fabled Austrian working out of Milan — that we seek out for the best menswear, tailoring, and textile. For nearly a decade Poell has kept diehard followers clad in his uncompromisingly designed clothing, heavy on experimental fabrics and so rigid in construction that his suits feel like elegant armor. Followers of the designer have relished keeping him a secret but with a recent presentation that showed models floating in water, literally, down the Naviglio Grande in Milan (putting fashion veterans like Suzy Menkes in awe) Poell is well on the way to blowing up. But don’t expect to start finding this designer’s own label in all and sundry places; he has eschewed calls for expansion for years. Visionaries at one of those large fashion conglomerates need only to wake up and capitalize on the many talents of this very gifted designer.
- Jason Campbell
Photo : Giulio Cunico for Carol Christian Poell, Spring 2004