Leaves’ colour. In his case, that kind of photography defined as still-life couldn’t have a most suitable name. For 35 years Karl Blossfeldt (Schielo 1865 – Berlin 1932) photographed leaves, seeds and flowers. Images that the german sculptor and photographer used to show his students how nature’s shapes, adapting to environment and weather, acquire different and fascinating morphologies. Blossfeldt, indeed, said: “Plants don’t have to be evaluated with an insensitive and mere functionalism, but their shapes develop on the basis of logic and adaptation and with their primordial strenght push every part to obtain the highest artistic expression”. His first photographic volume, Unformen der Kunst, was published in 1928 and today it’s still considered so much modern, that it suggests the hazard of a new form of modern art linked to the idea of “back to the roots”. The New Futurism? By now content ourselves with wearing the colour of nature. In this season’s collections there are garments for every taste and complexion. The opera omnia of Karl Blossfeldt



Tie, yes or no?. Blazer and shirt, without pullover. And without tie. Claudio Antonioli, owner of one of the most fashionable boutiques in Milan, has proclaimed the “farewell to the tie”. Some jobs need the tie and other don’t. Some men love it (the main part of them) and other hate it (“It’s too tight, it’s annoying, it makes me feel uncomfortable). So give voice to the trendsetters like Antonioli but, for equal conditions, listen to those who think different: me, for example. The jacket worn with the shirt, but without the tie, suits very few men. If you belong to the “no-ties” side, have at least the caution to wear the shirt completely buttoned. Or, absurdly: wear it unbuttoned to the breastbone, even if you take the risk to look like a naff, especially if you have a hairy chest. In doubt, cover the shirt with a beautiful sweater made of light wool or, indeed, wear the tie. The American rockstar Michael Stipe in a picture of Ron Galella.



Sexy situation. The gestures of male sensuality are much less than those made, on purpose or not, by women. Our sexy-situations can be counted on one hand, let’s use them! First situation, the business meeting: the way we cross the legs. Of course we can’t twist them à la Parietti style; so let’s put the ankle on the knee (but pay attention not to show the sole to the person sitting beside you, especially if she’s a lady), with the hand on the calf.  Freetime situation, for example on the beach: many women think we’re more attractive bare-chested wearing a pair of jeans, than wearing a swimming suit. And don’t mind if the legs remain white. Home situations: we have two of them. The shaving: it seems that seeing us with the face full of foam, focused in front of the mirror, drives them crazy. Last but not least: the tie, wearing a tie, knotting a tie. In several movies it is done before wearing the trousers, but the risk is to have a too short, or too long, tie. Man-to-man: wear the trousers before, and then knot the tie. Ph. from the website themenissue.com


While writing this column I have been thinking many times about the beauty of certain fabrics and patterns used in menswear. The most consolidated traditional references embody the history of costume, they are a precious heritage which has been guiding and influencing men’s aesthetic choices for over a century. Menswear: so very different from womenswear, it’s a more conventional world where changes occurs gradually as they remain strongly anchored in tradition. One of the latest “little revolutions” in menswear involves the use of classic and warm fabrics for sportswear: an option that has been blocking the invasion of nylon and other cold syntetic fabrics. The real innovation consists in the fact that the fabric’s design makes the whole outfit look a lot more elegant and classy. Patterns like Prince of Wales , pinstripe and tartan (kilts always have tartan patterns), pied-de-poule and pied-de-coq (a kind of little square with a “hook” similar to a spur) have been used also for casualwear. Quilted jackets and shiny down coats are over: let’s welcome the new sportswear, which makes it possible to beat the cold weather and feel comfortable even riding a scooter yet maintaining an exquisitely modern and refined look. Picture by Andrea Gandini, sport jacket by Fay(F/W 2013)



It’s not easy to organize and realize a fashion shoot . The role of a creative director it’s essential as much as the photographer’s skills and creativity.
A team working on set is formed by many characters: the fashion editor (stylist), the groomer (hair and make up), the photographer’s assistants, the fashion assistant and obviously the subject.  A good overall result depends on the general mood of the team, the chemistry and harmony between the members. The empathic exchange between photographer and the subject portrayed it’s also an essential element, like the synergy between staff members. When you come across perfectly balanced situations on set, which can be rare, it’s possible to take outstanding pictures despite the worst odds, when you are shooting outdoors and it starts pouring rain, for example. Besides, when we shoot summer collections it’s still winter. Right: Richard Avedon and Fred Astaire on set filming “Funny Face” in Paris. Picture by David Seymour/Magnum from “Evidence 1944-1994 Richard Avedon”