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Friday, April 15, 2011

Found Him On The Malcolm


Test User • 05.05.2009 • ONE ON ONE

With his front-row presence at all the major worldwide fashion shows, Angelo Flaccavento’s signature glasses and bow-tie can be spotted from a mile away. As an independent fashion writer who is based in Italy, Flaccavento contributes to a roster of Italian (as well as international) publications. Holding court as the fashion features editor at The End magazine, and regularly contributing to such praised publications as L’Uomo Vogue and Fantastic Man, as well as famed Luxury24 - Flaccavento and I sat down and I had the chance to get to know the man behind the bow-tie and glasses.
Name: Angelo Flaccavento
Occupation: Writer, Curator, Pornographer
Location: Italy
What trends have you been noticing on the men’s fashion runways?
Trends are over, I believe. Better, I’d vote for the adjective trendy to be removed from the fashion vocabulary for good.
I think one of the main pluses of today’s fashion is multiplicity. Not as in anything goes, though. Not at all. Right now, it’s more like many different things co—habit at the same time, inviting the final customer to personal interpretation. The truth, more than ever before, firmly lays in the eye of the beholder.
This said, at the recent round of men’s shows I noticed something very strict in the air, at times even menacing so. Something militaristic and monastic. I’m all for priest chic right now.
Otherwise, it’s full-blown, mind-blowing cabaret.
What was your favorite show from the Paris schedule? Why?
Actually, they were many. Raf Simons for his abstract take on classicism. Rick Owens for its pureness and strength, and for the exquisite street casting. Number (N)ine for the intense labor on each silhouette, and the sheer love of complicated texture and intricate detailing that oozed from every single piece. Comme des Garcons because it was oddly funny.
Did you always see a career in Fashion for yourself? How did you get involved in the industry?
With relatives involved in hi-end fashion retail, I got hooked up on fashion early on: as a kid actually. I was very exposed to magazines and clothes, so it happened very naturally for me. I always saw my future in fashion, but in the beginning it was more that I wanted to be a designer. Thank god I didn’t become one!
At one point I diverted to art, and even studied art history at university, but later in my 20s fashion called again. At that point I was more into writing, so I had a try as a journalist. It all happened by pure chance. I was in Paris, and rang the Dutch (r.i.p.) offices asking for an appointment. The fantastic Rebecca Voight, who was the editor in chief, said “yes, pass by”. I proposed a couple of stories, which she liked. That was the beginning of it all. Nine years later, I’m still around, writing.
How would you describe what you do?
I turn images into words. I like to always add an element of dream and emotions to my texts, and to stimulate the readers by leaving a door open to further interpretation. I like to put fashion in a wider context of references, too. Fashion is so much more than just clothes. Clothing both reflects and influences what’s happening in society, like convective currents.
How would you describe your sense of style?
You mean my own personal style? Paradoxically classic. Unruly but full of rules. In the end, crazily disciplined.
What is it about the business of fashion editorial that you find so compelling?
Constant change is what I really like about fashion: it forces you to evolve and reconsider your positions all the time, and this for me is really stimulating, conceptually and factually.
What new menswear designers are currently on your radar?
There are many designers on my radar, new and not so new. I like what Patrik Ervell is doing. I like Mjolk and Damir Doma. I like Julius and, to a certain extent, Romain Kremer. I find the up-and-coming Umit Benan truly smashing.
Last year, you were working on a collection of drawings titled “Sex Clowns”. What inspired that moment in time?
Sheer horniness, I’d say, and that brilliant Walter van Beirendonck collection with the same title. I put my love for stocky hairy bodies, frills and general esthetic mayhem into them, and it banged. It was an orgy: I was drawing really frantically. Nothing lasts, so now it’s over, but I’m not sad.
Are you currently creating any other art forms?
No, right now I’m one of those chaotic phases leading from one stage of development to the next. It’s a lot more annoying for me than it sounds, but I can cope with it.
What is one place you want to travel to but haven’t been to yet?
The Far East attracts me a lot. I’m fond of Japonisme, and would love to visit Tokyo, both for its traditional angles and the crazy, contemporary street culture. I’d like to go to India, too: those colors and odors must be really something.
On a day off - my favorite things to do are…..?
Walking, walking, walking. And then drawing and reading. And of course rummaging through piles of clothes wherever I can. The crappier the place, the happier I am when I find something.
In 20 years, I see myself…..?
Hopefully, wiser. Or maybe not. With white hair and a longer beard for sure.
Once the Fashion Week circuit is complete - You can find me……?
Still traveling. The fashion week circuit, nowadays, never stops.
If you could have dinner with three people (living or dead) - who would they be and why?
Aubrey Beardsley, because he was a true dandy, and because I love the naughty elegance of his India ink drawings. Marcel Duchamp, because I would like to get a glimpse of his fervent, quixotic mind. Rei Kawakubo, the most radical and inspiring of all designers, because she seems like a silent force, and I like silent people. And I’d love to have Francesco Clemente over if a fourth guest were allowed, because we share a fondness for handmade paper.
In my closet, you will find……?
Skeletons, together with a million white shirts, and a ton of bow ties.
(Images from The Sartorialist)

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