Fashion and Art: over to the fashion insiders

Fashion / Design / Graphics / Performance By Stefano Guerrini
Angelo Flaccavento, fashion critic from Il Sole 24 Ore/Moda 24
Favourite artist? 
I don’t like classifications, either general or personal: they block the iridescence of taste, whose changes are intrinsically and intimately linked to those of the person, into one frozen grimace. It’s not inconsistence, mind you, but healthy relativism: one of the few principles I firmly believe in. Art has always been a universe of allusions, suggestions and inspirations to me, and those very stimuli were and are different at different times of my personal development – which is still, thankfully, ongoing. That’s why I don’t want to and cannot choose. From Canova’s snowy whites to Serpotta’s stuccoes, the hybrid iconographies of Francesco Clemente and Gordon Matta Clark’s building cuts, I would say that my taste revels in an incomprehensible but to me exciting eclecticism. 
Favourite art work? 
Again, and for the same reasons explained above, it is difficult for me to choose. There is one recurring trait, however: I like art works that, in surround, stimulate different senses through a spatial experience. That’s why paintings and sculptures displayed in museums depress me: they are fragments ripped from their original contexts to be exhibited in aseptic environments. On the other hand, a fresco in a chapel - Giotto in Padua, to give one example – or one of those bizarre weather machines by Olafur Eliasson that completely alter a place, have an irresistible charm over me. 
Favourite designer? 
Eclecticism isn’t just my taste in art, but my taste in general. In fashion, I am attracted as much, and without any rhyme or reason, by the harshest minimalism as by baroque exuberance. I detest half measures, basically. I appreciate and support the work of those who have a vision and express it without any compromises. Rei Kawakubo, for example, or Cristobal Balenciaga. Madame Grés, Rick Owens, Carol Christian Poell. The names are many. 
A fashion moment that marked, struck, changed you? 
The discovery, as just a teenager in the Eighties, of Japanese radicalism - Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake: an alien, explosive way to understand the garment and its complements, from the fashion show to advertising. Since then, nothing has ever been the same, certainly not for me, or for the system either.
Art and Fashion. What’s the link? What is the relationship between these two worlds? 
Art and Fashion are adjacent spheres that have always communicated intensely but which, in my view, should stay apart. Fashion is an applied art; quite simply, it creates objects that meet a function. Art is alien to those limitations. Sometimes, especially today, fashion preys on art to be nobilised, to give gloss to nothing in certain collections. I find the easy references, like prints or embroideries borrowed from here and there inconsistent and silly. However I do like it when designers steal the method from art, the vision and the rejection of half measures: they are few, and generally don’t shout about their ties with the art world from the rooftops.