io donna



Marcello, that liar. Cannes, May 1987: 31 years ago Oci Ciornie won the Palme d’Or. The movie by Nikita Michalkov, inspired by some novels by Anton Cechov, is not so well known: it is never broadcasted on TV and it is hard to still find a copy. I’m lucky to have one, and I had the great fortune of being that year at the Festival, watching the premiere of the movie and participating at the award ceremony. The story is interpreted by Mastroianni and Elena Safonova, with the special appearance by an extraordinary Silvana Mangano that, even if she was already gravely ill, accepted to join the cast of the Michalkov masterpiece. It was her last movie, she died in Madrid two years later, only 59 years old. I remember one line of Elisa, her character, that she says to her husband in one of the last scenes: “Romano, once in your life, tell the truth”. Yes, because the role played by the great Marcello is that of an incurable liar, looking for a new woman that he finally finds in Russia. The movie is set at the beginning of the 20th century, many scenes are filmed on a cruise ship where Mastroianni shows off several suits designed by the costumers Larisa Lebedeva and Carlo Diappi and made by Sartoria Tirelli.



The eclectic knight. “A Fornasetti item has the power of changing the vibration of any place. A room can be very beautiful, but also rooted in real life. Place a Fornasetti in there and the room acquires a completely different aspect”. This is how, in 2005, Philippe Starck described the dreamlike side of the masterpieces of Piero Fornasetti, (Milan, 1913/1988). His son Barnaba continues the research started by his father and contributes to the success of an artist that revolutionized the interior design concept; a “style changer”, Fornasetti, that “for a long time was ostracized. Far from the strict rules of modernist rationalism, bearer of a narrative and theatrical design that reached the highest peak of modernity, recovering at the same time the classical codes. Piero Fornasetti was put on the borders by a system that didn’t forgive his eclectism”: this is what Silvia Annicchiarico writes in the book Citazioni Pratiche, edited by Electa and curated by Barnaba Fornasetti. If Piero Fornasetti had been a director he would have been Fellini, if he had been a band, the Beatles, and if he had been a modern artist he would have been Damien Hirst. And if he had been a fashion designer?


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Degrees of separation. Rod Stewart’s shoes in this picture of 1965 with Long John Baldry (singer and guitarist of The British Blues) correspond with the short white socks of Marlon Brando in a portrait that has made history, with him crouched on a chair at Actors Studio. Yes, because if the “error” (or “horror”) comes from a remote past, and besides made by a celebrity, is cool; if it’s made by you, you are a chav. But fashion designers try to surprise us in many ways, with eccentric ideas on the borderline of good taste, so why does a guy today deserve to be called a person of bad taste? White socks are in fashion, for example. We must ask ourselves which is (and if there is) a degree of separation from good and bad. There are different kinds of fashion: conventional doesn’t admit mistakes, while fashion created on purpose, following our personality without worries and obligations, does. The history of Miuccia Prada menswear collections teaches us that oversights and imperfections are (or can be) a sign of personality that makes the difference. My advice: follow your instinct and, if you’re sure you can dare, do it. And if you dare, do it completely.



Ski Style. Looking at Stenmark, Thoeni and Hinterseer in this picture, we immediately notice that twentyeth-century style that today seems to belong to a prehistoric era. This is not nostalgia, I don’t regret those trousers that when you fell got soaked, the snow in the boots, the wind jackets that didn’t repair from cold at all. Thumbs up for the union of fashion and technology. All the more so – fifty years later – we can find that kind of elegance in some sport collection very performing but at the same time very refined (well, it’s not easy to ennoble nylon and elastic fabrics). Z Zegna is an example of that: the sport line designed by Alessandro Sartori for Ermenegildo Zegna is a modern expression of elegance and good taste translated into comfort. After all the sport trend in fashion is very strong, and if on one side we have sophisticated clothes, on the other we can find stronger proposals for that fashion customers that loves ostentatiuons and extreme luxury. And that, in a skiing outfit, walks only on the city streets.



Two of us. Father and son, brothers, friends, life partners, husband and husband, it doesn’t make a difference. First of all, two men. Two man that could be anyone, that could be two of us. How many times have we read about “she” stealing from his wardrobe? Well, in this case is much easier, and mainly the “theft” isn’t one-directional: it’s an exchange. Then it’s normal if age, build and personality don’t correspond; suppose that one is a real dandy and the other is “rock”. One classic-formal and the other a denim-addicted. But the basic garments are the same for all: the white shirt, the polo shirt, the pullover. For once, the gender has nothing to do with it. The exchange is only from man to man. Masculine, masculine noun. Indeed.