fred perry


(Revisited) Icons. Is there a way to update an iconic style? It’s difficult, because the icon has a precise symbolic meaning, which is “untouchable”. The English poet Thom Gunn (1929-2004) chose to move to San Francisco to come out. In those years, the Sixties, even in the States this matter was a taboo (it doesn’t mean that now it’s a bed of roses…). In the picture on the right we see Gunn in a biker-casual outfit: checked shirt, gun belt and jeans. An iconic attire, in fact, adopted by many Hollywood stars, from Steve McQueen to Jude Law (when he’s far from the red carpet, of course). It reminds us the costumes of Brokeback Mountain, just to stay on the topic. Well, this week I throw down the guantlet: I try to “debunk” that old-fashioned image with a base close to the original, but with a modern styling. Look at the pictures, and tell me if I’m wrong. The English poet Thom Gunn



My father used to love only western movies. Saturday afternoon was a ritual: second show – at 16 0′ clock – cowboys, redskins and horses. The fate of those poor beasts was a source of worry (“do they hurt themselves when they fall down?”). Till, on a rainy saturday, in full grey Milanese autumn, was the turn of “For whom the bell tolls”, an old picture show – precisely from 1943 – inspired by Hemingway’s novel, with Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. I was used to spaghetti western, as easy as they were boring, and I was not prepared for a dramatic western at all. I cried so much that from then on I refused to go to the cinema with him, and only this year I made peace with western thanks to Tarantino and his Django. The modern cowboy played by Jamie Foxx captivated me, but I haven’t recovered yet after the goodbye scene between Maria (Bergman) and Robert (Cooper): the bracket has already closed.



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”


Brunch-time is one of the best times of the week, a context of space and time either short or long lasting, without any rules. I like it because you can be alone, in New York as in Milan without having the feeling of being watched, perhaps by commiserative eyes. I like that leisure atmosphere, having no constictions and no particular etiquette to follow. I like it because it marks the end of the week leading you through sweet and savory to the beginning of a new one, an interlude of bacon, fried eggs and muffins. The best one, I have to say, is the brunch in Paris: at the Cafè du Palays Royalafter wandering around the jardin or any brasserie in the Marais or Saint Germain de Pres. The typical Parisian’s artistic (also slightly cheeky)temper, is quite fashinating. They are the only men in the world who can manage to look attractive even before shaving, hiding their uncombed hair under unconvincing ugly hats, wearing large shapeless cargo trousers and pulling them off incredibly well pairing them with worn out monk strap shoes instead of the same old sneakers. In the picture a ceramic plate by Fornasetti



The filmography of Eriprando Visconti (1932-1995) encompasses only ten movies which have been filmed during the 60s until the last one, shot in 1982. Visconti, nephew of the more famous Luchino, won the critics’ choice award at Venice Film Festival when he started off in 1961 with “A Milanese Story” but never became widely known to the general public and that’s why it’s hard to remember him. The 1977 movie “Una Spirale di Nebbia”, based on the Michele Prisco’s novel by the same name, which I have now miraculously found in DVD, really affected me as a kid. Although the memory kept taking me back to the scenes of integral nudity that surprisingly haven’t been censured (Novecento by Bertolucci came out the very same year) and the audacity of the contents, I also remember very well the intimist and plush atmosphere..foggy indeed, built around the screenplay and the storyline. It’s a crude and realist plot, laying bare the Milanese upper class hypocrisy. A very contemporary film. Today more than yesterday. In the picture, a scene from the movie with Marc Porel.