Angelo Flaccavento is an independent fashion critic, writer and curator. He started his career at Dutch magazine, building a network of Italian and international collaborations. He is currently a columnist for The Business of Fashion and Il Sole 24 Ore and an editor at large at Vogue Italia. He contributed to WSJ, Purple Fashion, L’Officiel Italia, Fantastic Man, Studio, The Gentlewoman. He curated the exhibitions D ue o tre cose che so di Ciro and I l signor Nino for Fondazione Pitti Discovery in Florence in 2017 and 2015 respectively. With the mentoring of Pitti Immagine he developed and curated the tv series Le Italie della Moda broadcasted on Sky Arte HD in the autumn of 2014. In 2015 he conceived and curated the book 150 for Lanificio Reda.
What is a trend or item that reflects men’s style at this point in time?
More than a trend or item, I’d say a way of dressing: uncontrivedly. As we all stay home more and more, but still long to meet people outside, the divide between stay at home dressing and public dressing, between otium and negotium blurs. I am not commending sweat pants, robes or pajamas 24/7: that is a bit lazy. But there are definitely new categories of clothing that borrow from that ease without forsaking a certain formality. So, to come up to an answer, I’d say a shirt jacket with matching full cut pants: as easy as a pajama, as put-together as a suit.
How can fashion as a form of individual and free expression play a role in our changing societies?
Fashion is a primary tool for individual expression. The way we look is the first sign of ourselves that we give to the world: a non-verbal and very powerful one. As such, fashion has always played a leading role in the changing of society, quite often pre-empting huge about-turns. Today the signs of individual expression have been commodified by the system and heavily commercialized, to the point of having lost an authentic meaning. And yet, anyone experimenting with clothing for him or herself, non for a like on social media or as an #ad for a brand, is keeping the revolutionary power of fashion alive. It’s essentially a matter of being yourself, no matter what.
How does the current crisis impact people’s relationship with clothing and fashion?
The current crisis has made us all very anxious, very private and striving for survival. Closed in our homes, with no one to meet, we certainly do not feel the urge to dress, as we have other priorities. In this sense, probably, the current crisis has made us all less interested in fashion. But I think this is a transitory non-interest that will vanish as soon as social life is allowed again: as humans we tend to forget rapidly and get back to usual. Hopefully, with a new awareness.