Last week I was in Pari$,too for some days. Such a nice spot whit all the history in it, the nice Bars and Restaurants and all the nice Fa$hion $tores. Obviously I didn’t have enough time so visit every $tore I wanted, because the $ight seeing took to much time(what a f*cking tourist I was…). La Rue de $aint Honoré was my paradise, whit Colette, the Givenchy and the Goyard $tore, I was in the Fa$hion Heaven.
The only thing which really made my furious, was that A$ap Rocky was performing at the $ocial Club a day after I was back home…
P$.Take your girl out to Le petit Bleu, for a nice couscous(do not take vegetarian the meat delicious), afterwards climb the staris for a wonderful view from the $acre Coeur…
Was ist die grösste Veränderung, die du seit beginn des $tudiums an dir selber wahrnimmst!? Uhhh … Also meine Mutter sagt, dass ich schlechter aussehe (lacht). Nein ehrlich, ich glaube, mein Blick auf die Mode hat sich komplettt verändert.
Interessant, wie denn das!? Früher wollte ich nur “Fre$h” angezogen sein, ich habe Modemagazine gelesen, bin auf Blogs gesurft und war informiert. Um selber Sachen zu entwerfen, musste ich mich davon lösen. Alle Eindrücke, die ich sammle, sind schon da, ich jedoch will ja Neues kreieren.
Und das fiel dir schwer!? Ich glaube, das war die grösste Schwierigkeit für mich. Mir selber zu erlauben, meine Grenzen zu überwinden, sie sogar niederzureissen.
Ein Moment, der dir nicht mehr aus dem Kopf geht!? Wir hatten einen Workshop mit Alexandra Bachzetsis. Jeder sollte vor der Klasse eine Performance abliefern, die ihn widerspiegelt. Der Kleidungsstil ein Mix zwischen unseren Lieblingssachen und Sachen, die wir nie tragen würden.
Was würdest du nie tragen!? Ich trug Leggins und ein Netzshirt. Lustigerweise muss ich dazu sagen: Ich würde mittlerweile beides tragen. Ich glaube, das war es auch, was mir diese Übung gezeigt hat: Grenzen sind relativ und man sollte manchmal den Mut haben, etwas zu tragen oder zu kreieren, das den eigenen Horizont übersteigt.
Riccardo Ti$ci Interviewed by Donatella Ver$ace for Interview Magazine...
Donatella: Let’s talk about your last collection, which I found to be very beautiful—super sexy. I would wear all of it. Riccardo: Brava! In fact, as I’ve been saying, it is very Donatella, because it is about a very strong woman. My inspiration comes from many sources, and one of those sources is precisely the maison Versace. You know, when I was a little boy, my family was not very well off. I had a sister who worked in a hairdressing salon. I lost my dad when I was 4 or 5 years old. I grew up with eight sisters and my mom. Nine incredible women all a little “à la Donatella Versace.” Real strong women from the South of Italy, women who had sensuality. They had a confidence in their body and in their sensuality. And it was a poor family, I am very proud to say it.
I find the idea of having eight sisters to be a veryjovial thing. Absolutely. And even if they didn’t have the financial possibilities of dressing themselves fashionably, they were women with an elegant style. The elegance of the South is a very strong elegance and it is one that I bring. It is a sexy elegance—or at least, let’s say less chaste. It was also the late ’70s and the ’80s, which was a certain moment of Versace—especially for me with a sister who worked at a hair salon and brought home fashionmagazines on Saturdays. Of course, Versace is, in my opinion, still the flag of Italy; it represents Italy. It meant the arrival of top models, of celebrities, Gianni, Donatella, all the things that made me dream. Those early visions make a big impression.
The early ’90s were an especially marvelous period for fashion, because it was the peak of glamour and there were no limits as to what you could do. But I see that you haven’t stopped pushing the boundaries, pushing forward. There is always some of that in your collections, which I very much admire. There is this passion for fashion and you’ve had so much success in Paris. You are one of the most talented designers there. Grazie.
Has your initial passion diminished at all? Is it still the same as it always was? Or are you getting used to it!? I have to be honest: My great strength, which I very much believe in, is family. For me, family doesn’t simply mean components of DNA. I mean family in the sense of siblings. My mom and my sisters are the energy and inspiration in my life. For me, fashion is a job. I love it. It’s my passion. But the most important thing for me in general is life. I was lucky. From the time I was a little, I was always surrounded by women, and I am very attracted to the feminine world, because I love the strength and romanticism, which in the end, you can find in my style.
I can see in your clothing that you know the body of a woman. You know how to valorize it. End of story. Imagine all these sisters. Eight women of all different shapes and lifestyles. So my path was pretty peculiar. Even at the beginning when I arrived at Givenchy, there were certainly people who supported me, but not everyone loved me. They were saying, “Why an Italian who acts Gothic?” Never mind the fact that Italy is one of the main exhibitors of Gothic art in the world. But it was like, “No, Italians should only do sexy!” Sex is something I live very well, but it is something I revealed very slowly in my fashion. What I do is emotional. For me, there is a base, which is my Italian roots. It’s a strong passion for fashion, a passion for sensuality and dressing for one’s self. Then when I went to England, to Saint Martins, I was traumatized, in a positive way. It was that British sense of transgression and the dark. Then when I went to Paris, I was doing couture, which everyone was saying was finished. Bullshit! For me, in the end, it was all a mixing of ingredients.
Your last collection had a refined sexuality. I hate vulgarity. I hate vulgarity even though it attracts me—and it attracts me very much. I love all that is transgressive or vulgar. But in my opinion, it has to reach a limit that is always a little surreal and never becomes in your face. I say to you sincerely that what I very much admire about the Versace maison, and what I am still trying to learn to do myself as I am still young, is that from day one until today, Versace is the peak of sexy but never crosses that red line into the vulgar. Many other brands that have tried to outdo Versace have crossed that line. But I think that’s what you and I have in common, Donatella, that careful balance. It makes me proud to be an Italian. In the end, I am proud to do what I do.
When I worked with Gianni at the end of his life, I was the person with whom he would confide and say anything. If there was something I didn’t like, I would be honest and say, “No, no, no! Do something different.” Do you have anyone like this on your team!? Absolutely. It’s super-essential. Even though I don’t have a very big team, for me, the word muse may be démodé or not. I adore it, but I am also one, in my delirium, to be quite classical. For a designer—especially a male designer—he absolutely has to have that female voice by his side, which he listens to, he filters, he digests. It’s a huge need, because when you see through the eyes of a man, you see a woman a certain way, and how they have little tricks of their own. And like I said before, my luck has always been how I’ve had a family of women around me, and I have women who are very close to me now—for example, Mariacarla [Boscono], Carine Roitfeld, Marina Abramovic. I have different women whom I adore and value. Everyone thinks that for many years Carine Roitfeld was my stylist, which is not true. Carine was like Mariacarla to me. Yes, there are some people whom I esteem and want their opinion first, but that’s my way. Maybe that’s because I’m 36 years old, and in a while, I will slightly let go. It is difficult for me to delegate. In the end, I do have two or three people on my team who I listen to.
It’s unlikely you will let go, knowing your personality! It will be difficult because I am one who is very meridione [Southern Italian]. I am proud of this. I design everything with my team, which is fantastic and small. I design by look. For example, people always comment to me, “When you do men’s shirts, you always keep them closed on the catwalk.” That’s my thing, you know. I listen to certain opinions because those are important to me. I am a Leo, so I very much have my feet on the ground, and I know what I want, but there is also a side of me which is a little softer, still a little bit of a boy who has not grown up and who listens a lot.
I want to make a little note, the buttoned-up, transparent shirts on the runway this year were marvelous. Donatella, you are so much of a Givenchy woman! [laughs] I say it because I want the world to know. For me, aesthetically, you represent what the Italian woman is. There is always the American rock thing, the aristocratic, above-the-rest British manner, but Italy is at the heart of it. In fact, you and I have tried several times to do projects together. I would really love to see you dressed in Givenchy.
I would adore that. I have chosen some pieces. But which ones, which ones? Tell me!
I love the jacket with a varnish finish, a bomber. I adore the proportions, with the tight skirt, no stockings, very sexy—skirt to the knee. Exactly. After a long time of doing the same sort of thing, you want to break down the walls. For this season, it was the season of transgression. But I don’t love shock by itself. I do the shocking in the chic.
Americans really love you, but I find that you are not a designer who has an American sensibility. You are much more European, much more Italian. I am super-Italian, not even European—Italian. And this is very precise. It’s like houses. Over time they stabilize themselves in the terrain. I am still at the first step of a long staircase. And you know that being a creative mind, you have to examine who you are every day. I am very attracted to the United States. Why? Well, as a little kid from Southern Italy, not from a wealthy family, it was always my dream to go to the Big Apple. You know I’m not one to listen to classical music. I am very much for what is American, but I also prefer the America of the ghetto. I love the Bronx. I love hip-hop and R&B. I love electro-Latino, Latin music, that whole realm.
I like to work with music playing full blast. Yes. And I love finding new things. At the moment, I am fixated on Nicki Minaj and Antony and the Johnsons, but I’m also one who changes around in music a lot. I love the conceptual aspect of Antony Hegarty or the voices of those back in the day like Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Ciara. I love what evokes emotion in me. We are Italian. We are all little tribes—not only in fashion, but also in music—in everything, basically. I am close friends with Marina Abamovic´ , so I love strong, very aggressive political art. She is like a mom who wants to adopt me [laughs]. I love that whole world but I also love hip-hop and R&B. People always say, “You are dark, you make dark dresses. You probably only love The Cure or Diamanda Galás.” I love Diamanda Galás, but I also love Madonna, Beyoncé, and Courtney Love. They are all from different worlds, but they all evoke emotions in me. I am someone who needs emotions and needs to transmit them. If that weren’t the case, I’d be better off changing professions.
Just like music evokes emotion, so can garments. Absolutely. At times during fittings they make my heart beat like when you first meet the person you love.
Your last couture collection gave me a very strong emotion. It was very beautiful, modern, super cool, but also made in the way of a great couturier. When I started, everyone said couture was finished and I was so scared. Actually I was more terrorized than scared. I was arriving from a provincial area of Italy. They called me in to do Givenchy and I just thought, Wow. The first thing I did was sign my name. But I have to be sincere, I did that because my mom was leaving our family home and that thought really upset me. In a way, I didn’t even think … It could have been Givenchy, it could have been anywhere, but the fact of thinking of my mother in a home for the elderly … I don’t have anything against homes for the elderly, but my mom, after having nine children, after all the sacrifices, living in an apartment—it gave me anxiety. Being the only male in the family, I said, “No I can’t let this happen.” Therefore I signed, because I wanted to buy a house for my mom. I started at Givenchy and the whole fashion world was saying, “Couture is finished.” No, couture is not finished. Couture has changed—thank goodness.
I agree with you. My first stage was couture. Boom. Couture. It has changed because women have evolved. Back in the day there were princesses. Today, there are still princesses, but she no longer rides around with horses and a carriage. She parties, she goes on vacation, she goes on boats. She wants to be dynamic. I understood this and I kept going. We do prêt-à-porter, men’s, and couture. When you do all of that, you want to differentiate. It is also a matter of respect. In the end, all of these women sewing and embroidering the clothes, whom are almost all my mother’s age, they’re all 70 or 80 years old, have been here for a lifetime. They spend hours on it and come up with solutions. And because it’s on a catwalk, people see if for five seconds and don’t even see the technique, the drapery. So I followed the Versace maison in this—in what you did. I prepared a couture look book.
It’s better to make fewer pieces but make them marvelous, because now, one can finally see what we do up close. And your samurai piece [from the Spring 2011 couture collection] I found to be genius. Hard and soft are brought together without weighing down the piece. It’s magnificent. Let’s say that in couture, I really show my romantic side, because in spite of the fact that everyone thinks I am very much a Rottweiler—that I am very dark and everything—I have a side that is very romantic that I show to very few people. I would only open up like this to you, Donatella. I usually don’t like to talk about myself like this. We have known each other for five or six years. I will always remember when I first met you. You were with Miuccia Prada at the dinner for Vogue Italia with Franca
[Sozzani], and we were on the stairs smoking a cigarette. You introduced yourself and I said to myself, “This woman is really ciao, is really ahead.” And from there our friendship was born.
I am really glad to see such a talented Italian designer in Paris, showing the entire fashion world … And it seems to me that your last show [men’s and women’s Fall/Winter 2011] resembled Gianni. You have not been the only one to tell me that. Several people have said that to me. Most little children’s obsessions are robots and Barbie dolls. My obsession as a kid was the Versace house. I used to save up my pocket money to buy Versus shirts. I was that obsessed! I still am today such a big fan. In fact, the only fashion show that I went to in my life was for Versace, when I went to the men’s show, and it gave me great pleasure that you invited me. If I am in fashion, it is really due to very few designers that I admire—not because I don’t like the rest, or that the rest are not beautiful, but because I am very selective. I adore Versace. I adore Helmut Lang, despite the fact that it’s over.
You are already dressing celebrities. At the Oscars, I thought Cate Blanchett’s Givenchy dress was the most elegant. Thank you so much. I’ll tell you, when I arrived here at Givenchy, there was a lot of confusion. Before me, there had been some great geniuses—John Galliano and Alexander McQueen are great masters. They marked history. But when I came in after Julien Macdonald, it was also a bit of a mess, because not even I could understand what the true identity of Givenchy was. Everyone thinks that it’s only Audrey Hepburn, but there is a whole other world behind it. So in the end, I closed all the doors and didn’t let anyone in so I could find it for myself. I didn’t want to dress anyone in the beginning, no celebrities. Then, very slowly I started with one, two, like that. There are some celebrities whom we dress because they are part of the family. They are women I admire. I don’t care how famous she is, if she is at the movies or in a concert.
Now I must ask you, do you have new ideas for Givenchy, or something new for Riccardo Tisci? I think you know what I mean. [laughs] Yes, I know what you mean. You mean what happened at Dior. I don’t know what will happen. Sincerely, I feel sorry for John. But for this moment I am leaving aside all the gossip of “I am going here, I am going there,” because there is a lot of gossip circulating and there always will be. I will tell you, in this moment, I am very happy at Givenchy and it is a moment in which I am bringing the game to the next level. So I tell you, I feel at home. It’s as if it were my son. I don’t know how to explain it. It would be very difficult for me to leave.
It’s like your child, there. Absolutely. Because I arrived here, with a destroyed house, with nothing. I had to do everything very slowly. And with a little team and a great president, we achieved a lot. I am happy here. For now, it is still Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, and I think that it will be for a long time, because it will be difficult to evict me from my house. I feel good here! [laughs]
We will see if this is the whole truth! No, I would really say that, at the moment, it really is the truth. My truth is this: That I don’t know what will happen tomorrow because you can never know…
Where are you now!? In Paris. We leave on the 14th to NYC.
You had about a month off between shows. How’d you spend that time!? We ‘ll work on the live show, add some new tracks and rehearse them.
You last show in New York at Terminal 5 in 2007 was mental. Can we expect the same thing this time around!? We hope it’s going be the same reaction, but you can’t make any rule about cities. Sometimes it’s great, the next day it can be terrible, and there are too many parameters that we don’t control, like the weather, a football game, alcohol level.
Does the alcohol level need to be high to maximize the Jus†ice live experience!? Haha, hopefully not, but it helps sometimes.
On your first tour, it felt like you and Xavier really embraced the rockstar lifestyle. Have you mellowed since then!? We had some great moments, and we hope this tour will top the last one, but we are not crazy people and we don’t consider ourselves rockstars.
The last tour felt like a real introduction to fame, and everything that comes with it.
Some stuff happened on the road and it would have been sad not to embrace it, but it happens for any band, I guess.
But not every band makes a movie about it. Are you going to shoot another doc for this tour!?
No, we wanted to make this DVD at a very early stage of our story, because most documentaries on music are made when the band is old and grey. We thought it would be more entertaining to make it at that point.
If there were five items that you absolutely had to have backstage before a show, what would they be!? Rum, Tabasco, cigarettes, random sandwiches, and a bunch of midgets.
Is there anything about North America that you missed while you were gone!? Everything is more exciting for us in the US. It’s still very exotic for two Frenchies.
How have crowds been reacting to the new material? Do you find that your old hits still get the biggest reaction!? The peak time of the show is Audio, Video, Disco, so it’s great to see that the new material is working well,because we made the two records sound alike on stage, one bass sound, one drum kit, one sound for the leads and solos. We spend more time changing the old material, and the whole is very fluid and coherent.
Are you both $ingle, and is it best to be $ingle before going on a tour like this? Haha, no, we’re both engaged.
When they wrote in the Medias, that Chri$toph Decarin gonna leave Balmain, I was really concerned, about my favorite Brand. Mr. Decarnin was not only known for creating the Glamorous Rock ’n’ Roll Look, which leaded Balmain’s way to the top, but he was also the one who brought out their first Men’s Collection.
The one you $hould fill this gap,was the 25 Year old Olivier Rou$teing, who was his Assistant. I was always concerned that someone as young could do that, but it seems that the Press believes in him.
For my parth he has’t still to convince me to a 100%.
Push the Button and read his conversation with Derek Bla$berg for V Magazine…
Ich hoffe ihr habt, das Datum nicht vergessen, welches es nicht zu vergessen galt. Der 17. März 2012 ist der Tag an welchem die Absolventen und innen Ihre Kollektion vorstellen. Mit den $hootingbilder habt ihr schon einen kleinen Einblick was euch erwartet…