“Fashion is made of products”, but Michele wants to create culture with Valentino

“Fashion is made of products”, but Michele wants to create culture with Valentino

Eight years at Gucci. The setback. Life in between. The ambitions with Valentino. Awaiting September and his first fashion show as creative director of the Roman brand, Alessandro Michele (pictured right) is back on the fashion scene. This time with a book, “The Life of Forms – Philosophy of Re-enchantment”, co-written with philosopher Emanuele Coccia and published by Harper Collins. Not a new collection, then, but an essay in which Michele analyses the relationship between fashion and aesthetics, sacred and profane. A tale of the past projected into the future.

The life of clothes

A reflection, that at the basis of the book, born during his eight years at the helm of Gucci, which has turned into “a psychological essay on what it means to do this job, its dangers and the value that objects take on”, Michele stresses to La Repubblica. Objects with a life, because “when creating I start from life”, the creative director continues, “like Tom Thumb, who follows the crumbs left by objects. Or Dr Frankenstein, who combines and assembles them even if they are totally different”.

Michele’s work, however, is about objects from the past, which the designer manipulates and makes contemporary. The new book is not only about fashion, “a word that creates misunderstandings, because there is a tendency to enclose it in a container with a precise course”, Michele specifies, in relation to a world divided in two, which tends to catalogue a universe that has, instead, many references.

Beyond commodification

Over time, a fascination has built up around the figure of Michele, born from the aesthetics of his collections, an example of maximalism. The designer, he is keen to reiterate, starts “from the stories around the wearer”. The problem with fashion, which for the creative director is a singular practice, is homologation: “It is a vast territory that offers itself to many operations, many of an economic nature. Faced with this dominant commodification, I began to dismantle, confuse and dissimulate in order to restore life to it”.

What he will do with Valentino

For his new adventure, Michele says he started from the study of the images of Mr. Valentino, with the aim of “understanding why he created what he created, focusing for the future on a work that is not just about the tailoring of a jacket or trousers, but rather the need to create a story”. Because Michele hardly ever works on a dress, as he pointed out to L’Espresso: “Making clothes means writing the script of possible lives that we can go in and out of every day”. A comeback in a big way. Which fuels anticipation (and expectations) about Valentino’s future. (dc)

Photos from social media

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