Alternate Elegance

An interview with our alumnus Christian Pellizzari

Polimoda People

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Since graduating Polimoda over a decade ago, Venetian designer Christian Pellizzari took design dreams to the runway with the 2011 launch of his namesake brand. A mix of mediums and epochs, his style revisits Italian elegance with an iconic twist, fusing traditional tailoring techniques with innovative production methods. Having toyed with fabric since birth, today Pellizzari’s designs aren’t merely gracing catwalks – they’re catching fire with some of the industry’s most A-list aficionados.

Back at Polimoda to head a Master’s in Collection Design lecture and workshop, we caught up with the textile master to hear more about his ongoing success.

Who are you?

My name is Christian Pellizzari, I am a fashion designer from near Asolo in the Veneto region
who studied at Polimoda more than 15 years ago.

What is your professional history?

When I finished my studies at Polimoda, I went to London for a month-long internship, but soon returned to Veneto to begin working at Tonello. Here, working closely with the founder, I learned the art of creating a well-constructed jacket. After a few years there, I decided to leave Italy and went to Paris to work for Vionnet for a year before Matteo Marzotto brought me to a brand called Jay Ahr, where I worked as the creative director in charge of the collections. In 2011, I decided to start my own brand and launch my first menswear collection.

You’ve alluded to always knowing you wanted to work in this field. When did you first start designing?

I had a sense for aesthetic and the desire to design since I was a child. Even in elementary school when I was asked to draw something, I always drew men or women with different types of clothing.

Chrisitian Pellizzari during his workshop at the Polimoda Design Lab

What noteworthy events helped propel your career after completing your studies at Polimoda?

I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer but I didn’t know where to start. I thought that every choice that I was making at the time was a mistake, but I now see that was all meant to be. Being in small activities helped me learn a lot about the many steps in this field of work. I wouldn’t have ever been able to launch my own line if I hadn’t followed that path.

You mentioned that the initial idea of creating your brand was centered on menswear. Can you tell us more about your transition into womenswear?

I started with menswear to break with the past and with what I had done for previous labels I designed – I wanted to create a wardrobe of things that I wanted for myself. Womenswear started naturally since many of the things I was doing for men could function for women as well, plus my clients had asked me to start a woman’s line.

Chrisitian Pellizzari during his workshop at the Polimoda Design Lab

In your Spring/Summer 2018 collection we witnessed the incredible influence of Venetian motifs and the Baroque. Could you comment more on how Italian tradition and imagery fuels your work?

A few seasons ago, I began to feel more and more inspired by Venice, a place that represents a melting pot of cultures and styles. I define my work eclectic and enjoy mixing different elements to create contrasts. The Baroque, in particular, is a style that I like for its eclecticism and for the excessive decoration – I like it to see it in the clothes that I make. My roots are very important for my work and for what I make and want to communicate with my clothing. Since I am very inspired from my place of origin – the Veneto region – Venice naturally becomes a big source of inspiration.

How does it feel to see major fashion/culture icons wearing your pieces?

It’s always a surprise because you never expect something like that to happen, it’s very rewarding knowing that someone has chosen your clothes.

Chrisitian Pellizzari during his workshop at the Polimoda Design Lab

What are your views on the current state of fashion?

I believe that we live in a time where fashion phenomena drive everybody – quickly, everyone wants something, and in a very short period of time it’s not in demand anymore. I don’t think I’m part of this, my work is more concentrated on creating beautiful, unique pieces with a timeless quality.

What is the future of your brand?

There are no revolutionary ideas in my future. I want the business to grow and to become more global, with the eventual integration of an accessories line. I do hope it will grow, as this business is my life.