The Amsterdam menswear label inspired by art and nature
A shared admiration of well-tailored form and exceptional fabrics, stemming from a chance encounter at Barcelona–El Prat Airport in 2004, led Andrzej Lisowski and Stephen Hartog to co-found Delikatessen. Remarkably, it was just a five-minute conversation that led the duo to launch their brand almost five years later in Amsterdam. Having just unveiled their A/W 2014 line, this highly conceptual label—constructed with traditional craftsmanship—brings their sartorial shirt and jacket offerings to a new level. As Lisowski notes, "The fabrics are our Delikatessen." With inspiration spanning art to gardening, the label successfully reinterprets classics through structure, layering and a fine eye for discovering uncommon textiles.
"I choose fabrics that bring something new and fresh. It often refers to the texture or color mix of the yarns used to make the fabric," Lisowski tells CH. "I usually love fabrics which are multidimensional," he continues. Each year, Delikatessen plays with mixed tonalities and color pairing, all of which results in that multi-dimensional sensation. But it's their refined scouring that leads to garments composed of hemp and linen, plus nylon and denim—or even the boiled wool and Italian cotton of other seasons. While a previous line was driven by abstract optical art (specifically the work of Polish painter Henryk Berlewi) and their 2010 seasons were created in partnership with two emerging artists, photographer Stanislaw Boniecki and graphic designer Maciej Swiatnicki, each item is decidedly wearable. It's an artistic infusion into everyday apparel hewn from high-end materials.
For the newly launched A/W season, Delikatessen utilized three-ply vintage gauze from Japan, waffled denims, vintage chambrays, Italian lana cotta (a type of felt) and cottons mixed with wool and silk. "The Japanese slow vintage fabrics are a part of the whole collection. We have sweatshirts, pants, jogging pants, T-shirts and jackets made of them," says Lisowski. These slow vintage Wagayama knits are soft and gentle, while offering fully functional warmth. As with all Delikatessen lines, there are classical references and modern accent pieces.
The inspiration hailed from an unlikely—but ever popular—place. Struck by the "curly and structural surface" of kale growing in Lisowski's garden in Burgundy, France, Lisowski sought to introduce "a number of fabrics with similar rich structure." This resulted in the utilization of the vintage gauze from Japan, which had a corresponding structural weave that evoked similar sensations for the designer. The color also became a point of reference in the newest line, as well as the understanding of the leafy vegetable's vast mineral offerings. The allusion to style and strength within kale became the backbone of the latest line, as well as its new role as a sophisticated green.
There is care and concern in every cut; the designs pay respect to the traditional fit for pants, shirts and jackets, but brush it all modern with fine detailing and inspired flourishes. Lisowski explains that, "If not in the garden, it is abstract art where I search for inspiration." There's an artistry to the brand and, to the benefit of the wearer, it doesn't alter wearability or function.
Images courtesy of Delikatessen