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It was 1974 in Madrid when Jesús del Pozo’s sharp attention to detail and strong commitment to craftsmanship entered the fashion world through his eponymous menswear collection. For 37 years, del Pozo–designed creations graced many opera, theater, and ballet wardrobes, with uniforms and costumes to complement Spain’s vivid colors and creative spirit. Women’s, children’s, tableware, and fragrance lines shortly joined the brand, too, before del Pozo’s untimely passing in 2011. Months later, the legacy of his company began under the creative direction of Josep Font, and the company was reborn as Delpozo.
The Barcelona-born Font’s interest in fashion began at an early age when his mother would ask for his opinion while shopping. “I went with my mother to the boutiques every time,” he told us during a recent visit to New York. “She was a very elegant woman.” While growing up, Font was encouraged by his father to study architecture, but after attending FD Moda and dabbling in personal architecture projects thereafter, Font started in the fashion industry in 1991 with his own label.
“My work is very architectural because I like the structures . . . the interiors of the dresses,” he said. And his work at Delpozo for the past five years has followed that thread, creating luxury prêt-à-couture collections of intricate design and tons of distinct personality. If you are in Madrid (the headquarters), Miami (the store midway between North and South America), or London (the newest store, which opened in May), it’s worth seeing Delpozo’s newest creations in person. You’ll get an eyeful of Delpozo designs, which are geometric and simple, strong and gentle, and emotional yet rational: pointed-toe platform shoes with hand-sewn beads and sequins dripping from the shoe’s top for an intense overhang you can see; multilayer dresses full of tulle underneath; straight-leg trousers with large ripple ruffles strewn above the unseen side pockets; new functional purses and bags, including the Benedetta doctor bag and the Bo satchel; soft commercial knits loosely woven in electric pink and baby blue; and elbow-length gloves stitched to perfection in perhaps the very same beads and sequins we see adorning many of the darling shoes and bags.
At Delpozo fashion shows, attendees will tell you that Font’s exciting demonstration is more of an experience—one complete with a live band of Font’s choice accompanying the dazzling wonderments that pass by in a slow motion, sweeping the toes of fashion figures in the front row. Regularly playing with surprising juxtapositions, Font finds inspiration in all sorts of traditional and nontraditional beauty, creating a “very complete collection, naturally for day and night.” For Fall/Winter 2015, we saw references from the palette of the Australian artist Rhys Lee and the Russian painter Andrey Remnev. For Spring/Summer 2016, it was one of Font’s favorite Spanish poets, Federico García Lorca, coupled with his earthy women, the “Gypsy Ballads,” and Gustav Klimt’s young lover Emilie Flöge. Attention to highlighting differing details in each twofold-inspired collection is something that Font knows how to communicate well, and his Fall/Winter 2016 collection continued to prove his passion for fulfilling that.
In February, within New York’s natural light-flooded Studio 59, we witnessed Victorian and futuristic worlds elegantly colliding in Delpozo’s collection. Inspired by Fritz Lang’s science-fiction film Metropolis and the dreamlike digital illustrations of Daria Petrilli, Font showed an array of treasured garments: elbow-length gloves covered in kaleidoscopic flowers of lilac, burgundy, silver, and bronze; the new Benedetta doctor bag, the Bo satchel, the Tyng flap bag, and the Gret clutch; pointed platform shoes with dangling details; and an array of textured materials like holographic mesh, metallic embroidery, thermo-fixed tulle, and velvet jacquard prints with silver craquelé effects—all joining the rest of the globally sourced materials, exclusive to the house. For each of Delpozo’s collections, rather than seeing direct translations of Font’s inspirations, we see bits and pieces that allow for us to form our own conclusions in addition to outright explanations: colors from the artists’ palettes; futuristic references through materials; and patterns—like splattered polka dots, organized bright and reflective dots, and spaced-out sequins—that are reminiscent of perhaps a past life or a character’s demeanor.
As we sat with the designer in a New York coffee shop in SoHo, wrapping up our discussion, we spoke about all of the additional duties it takes to be a creative director—all those aside from what you may think you’re signing up for. “It’s very stressful,” he said, “but I need this stress for my world, for my life.”
This article is published in Whitewall‘s fall 2016 Fashion Issue.