Created from an unlimited combination of fabrics and colors are bikinis and underwear by Individuals, a brand founded by designer Carlo Galli. The brand promotes a new idea of femininity, one that is more free-flowing and natural, one that is more attentive to the movement and anatomy of the body.
Our interview came about from an unexpected encounter. The picture that emerged was a high energy, passion for dance, creativity, and the desire to break the rules…
Your creations are unique but draw from a decorative universe that embraces countries all around the world. How relevant is your personal story and what inspires you?
Individuals is, above all else, a passion for colors, freedom of movement and the refusal of rules. It’s a point of view that goes beyond fashion. It all started in the Como district where fabrics and prints of utmost quality are made. It is where I began my career in soft accessories (ties and scarves), a sector in which attention is principally concentrated on colors and materials rather than form.
Subsequently I had a stimulating professional experience working with the development team for licensing swimwear and underwear for Gianfranco Ferre and Diane Von Furstenberg that allowed me to learn the nature of the business.
The foreign yet determining element of my career was dance from which I learned a new way of looking at the body, seeing the form through movement, the anatomical tables of articulation and the dynamics of the muscles. This is why I don’t use frames and constrictive materials.
Through dance I found a new way to make patterns recalculating the form of the muscles and not the classical forms of pattern-making. For example: The body does not have a line on the sides with a front and back, instead, there is a central symmetry right/left and so, using the recalculations, we created bodysuits and tops, all cut diagonally on the fabric with backs that wrap around to the front and are adjoined at the side like a torso muscle.
By chance in London, immersed in the creativity of the city and inspired by competitive characters of the English capital, I decided for the first time to try to produce some pieces.
What is your idea of femininity?
Masculinism in our society is also expressed through the ideal aesthetic imposed on women: Breasts pushed up to the throat, voluminous, exaggerated posteriors and the total oblivion of the concepts of equilibrium and proportion. With Individuals I desire to offer a new aesthetic ideal based on freedom and on the exaltation of the feminine figure offering thousands of little ways to value strengths and mask minor defects.
When clients enter Individuals stores they notice three things: The delicate sexy style, French taste, and feeling of freedom to be as one desires to be…..In all one feels perfectly at home.
Tell us about the fabrics…
As I mentioned, at the beginning of my career I worked with products like ties and scarves for which form was not the primary criteria. A tie, omitting details, has its “strong suit” in the fabric from which it is made. Such as in printed silk, the creative aspect is in the design, the colors, the rhythm of spacing in the designs. For many years the fabric was the only creative variable I could act upon, a restrictive parameter, and simultaneously a great school.
Pattern and fabric. Which comes first?
To express one’s creativity every designer grows professionally in his/her own way. I began with fabric – I personally choose fabrics, selecting colors, I handle thousands of pieces of swatches dirtying my hands. I feel for elasticity. I place the fabric on the back of my hand to check for transparency with contact on the skin. I perceive the materiality, my mind comes up with thousands of images. Most of the time I immediately know what I’ll do. Other times I simply pick fabrics I like not yet knowing how they’ll be used…
Today Individuals is synonymous with intimate wear (underwear) and bikinis. Do you have any intention to increase production by producing other types of clothing? Or perhaps you have new horizons in mind?
The collection is in continuous growth and expansion. We are perfecting the wearability “without frames” up to the breast cup size 5a Individuals unit of comfort. We are working on creating blouses, tops and sweaters in silk and tulle, as well as pajamas that can also be worn as daywear. In the Spring/Summer 2016 collection we are projecting three new styles in silk. The true novelty will be striped socks and stationery covered in fabric coordinated with other products of the collection.
Individuals collaborates with Tiziana Carenini and Bea Marin in Milan and with Alessandro Lacolucci in Rome.