Alessandro Calascibetta has been active in fashion since the late 80s. He started off his career at L'Uomo Vogue, after that with Mondo Uomo. Afterward, he became Fashion Director at Harper's Bazaar Uomo, and in 2000 founded Uomo which he directed until 2003. Following that, he started collaborating with Rizzoli. Since january 2015 he is the Editor in Chief of Style Magazine, and still remains as Man Fashion Director for Io Donna and Sette.
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?
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.