Pau for Carlo Pignatelli: an unexpected rock capsule

Pau for Carlo Pignatelli: an unexpected all rock and roll capsule - Carlo Pignatelli and Pau
Carlo Pignatelli (left) and Negrita’s singer Pau (right)

Pau for Carlo Pignatelli: Paolo Bruni, aka Pau, is the frontman of the Italian rock band Negrita. Carlo Pignatelli is leading a brand that is famous for haute couture, bridal and formal dresses. How do the two combine?

New York Style Guide met them in Milano to talk about it, and the new Capsule that Pau designed for Carlo Pignatelli.

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Pau for Carlo Pignatelli: the beginning

Pau and Carlo Pignatelli met us on one of those sunny days of Milan’s outstanding fall, in the middle of the city’s Fashion Week, and started immediately sharing stories with us. We sat in a room, surrounded by pieces from the capsule collection, and they spoke lively about their experience together, showing a high level of complicity and familiarity.

They were funny and entertaining while they presented this capsule collection, sharing anecdotes, and often ending each other’s sentences like two old friends would.

“At the very beginning,” said Pau “as for many other people, it was the lockdown that brought me to the other side of my artistic life, and I started creating art, as I could not play with my band, concerts were not allowed. I created different pieces, using different techniques. Once I had some works I really connected to, I thought about putting together a small collection to sell as Negrita, relying on our fan clubs, and put it as merchandising for the band. I was ready to go for the self-produced t-shirts, though, even for that, I needed some advice. That is how I got in touch with Carlo [Pignatelli – ed], that I met back in time through common friends. And of course, he told me he had no clues how to mass print on t-shirts. That is not what he does, after all” [we all laughed-ed].

“Yes, but then I thought thoroughly about what he showed me, and finally I got back to him” added Carlo Pignatelli, “to ask: what if I add a capsule to my collection and use your works, instead of you going solo? And this is how it happened.”

They shared a lot of moments on how this collaboration was both inspirational and incredibly demanding. To our questions on how these works combined, they replied with details, e.g. on how Pau was very (rightfully) demanding on color affinities.

“You have no idea how many times we had to redo the lips [that you can see on Pignatelli’s jacket on the featured image – ed], because he [Pau – ed] noticed that the tints of red weren’t matching with his originals, and I promise he would notice everything. It was a work of construction and deconstruction, that we appreciated, as it showed Pau has the same care for precision and the same attention to details that we have.”

Pau for Carlo Pignatelli: an unexpected rock capsule 2

Said Carlo, and Pau continued

“On the other hand I was completely stunned by how some of my works took form. Looking behind you, you will see la Santa Suerte on a jacket, all black on black in monotone strass. I wore that this morning, and I think it is an incredible piece.”

Pau for Carlo Pignatelli: an unexpected rock capsule 4
Black on black jacket that Pau wore in Milan, on the right

When we asked if Carlo Pignatelli, with this capsule collection, is trying to grab the attention of new customers, he replied very wisely, as you would expect professionals of this level do

“More than anything, we want to say that our brand can mix inheritance with new, we want to show that we can grow horizontally and embrace new challenges, tell more stories. There is no end to research, growing, and renewing collections, it is necessary to stay creative, and our intention was to share our view, mix heritage and contemporary styles. In order not to be too much of one thing, we opened to this collection: we found something that we wanted as part of our story as a brand, and we wanted to show new aspects of Carlo Pignatelli. No brands would want to be obvious, and repeating yourself is being obvious. That is not who we are, we dare challenging us all the times, and this is our way to assess it.”

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As to Pau, when we asked if he has expectations on his collection, he reminded us that originally he thought of his band and use it as promotional for Negrita, so of course, he would love to see it in the rock world, but that his work is made through a lot of different inspirations, and he does not think about a final customer when he e.g. paints, or work in his creative environments [he is incredibly talented and more you will learn as we look at the collection – ed], but he thinks mostly about the means and the message. Like a true artist does.

La Santa Suerte

Santa Suerte I and II On Jacket and on A T-shirt
Santa Suerte I and Santa Suerte II – the hanging jacket is hand-painted by Pau

Santa Suerte I and Santa Suerte II are two connected creations of the visionary talent of Pau, and do represent the heart of this capsule collection, Pau for Carlo Pignatelli.

In Santa Suerte I and Santa Suerte II, the pagan iconographic image of the Goddess Fortune is projected into a religious dimension, to which a strongly propitiatory symbolism applies.

“I was creating this through the pandemic. It was somehow an amulet that should bring good luck in a very sad moment of our history” said Pau, “a bit of a modern Madonna that should protect us”.

Santa Suerte is made through a mix of linocut printing procedures with brush and marker retouches, graphic techniques translated from street art.

The works show a veiled face of an enigmatic woman surmounted by a crown and became the ideal canvas on which Carlo Pignatelli has played, sartorially, declining it on noble fabrics and embellishing it with prints and decorations made by hand, in artisan workshops.

The Maison intervened with a personalization on crystals and lurex, to give each garment the necessary rock attitude they needed, and applied it on jackets, sweaters, and t-shirts.

” I painted one of those jackets, the one right behind you [shown on the picture above -ed]” said Pau lastly, before we greeted the creative team and thanked them for this opportunity to meet them.

The hand-painted jacket is an even stronger unique piece that reinforces the identity and the beauty of these works, its added values, contemporary and artistic.

The takeaway

Pau for Carlo Pignatelli is more than just a capsule collection.

One may or may not like rock and roll style, but it’s really hats off for a brand that is considered incredibly formal (it’s bridal and red carpets, think about it) that decides to take the opportunity to show some rock moves. This September is to be remembered for the daring approaches of many brands. Italian fashion is taking the challenge of a transformation right in front of our eyes.

It wants to surprise, get new, dare new ways as the pandemic has put a before and after in all of us. Italian fashion is not scared a bit to use its experience and sense of risk-taking, to embrace the post-pandemic with new energy. From bridal to rock and roll, you are all covered. And that is absolutely not obvious.

A brand to be great has to be consistent, not obvious. Bruno Pignatelli with this collaboration with Pau is showing consistency, integrating into haute couture what you would least expect them to integrate, and with the symbolic value of the Goddess Fortune, the message is clear: “dare new, and go on, we are optimist”.

Good messages from Milan, and after all, even Eurovision showed it, rock and roll never dies. Right?

Pau for Carlo Pignatelli: an unexpected rock capsule 9




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Flora MC

About Author

Flora MC

Flora MC is correspondent from Italy for NYSG since September 2018. Passionate about design, technology, with focus on made in Italy, Flora has lived in several European countries where she specialised in communication online, both visual and written and is a polyglot. She studied cultural mediation and European affairs in Italy, visual communication, web design, and original production in Sweden, and commercial photography in the US.

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