Angelo Flaccavento is an Italian fashion writer. He is currently features editor at Dapper Dan and Hunter magazines and works as a contributing editor for numerous media including GQ Italia and the German and Russian editions of GQ Style.
The Fashiongton Post: Angelo, how do you discover new ideas for writing and for the style?
Angelo Flaccavento: My main drive is sheer curiosity for what’s happening around me, in every creative field and otherwise. I believe you have to be acutely aware of the moment you are living. My taste might look a bit nostalgic, and sure i do have a fondness for the good old times, but truth be told I am more interested in the now than anything else. It’s a drive that keeps me going and evolving. New writing ideas arise from a book i discover, maybe, or a movie that catches my interest. A painting, too; a photo. The same goes with style. Then, my mind follows the most unpredictable paths, making odd associations and… boom! That’s where progress happens. It is very instinctive.
F.P.: Please, describe your personal style.
A.F.: I’d say my style is paradoxically classic. The elements — tailored blazers, formal pants – are the pillars of the masculine wardrobe. It’s the proportions that have gone bonkers. My blazers are always very slim, while trousers are two sizes up and very short. Massive brogues complete the uniform. I like to play with as few elements as possible: it makes it all more fun. Uniform dressing rules, at least for me. Then again, I might change idea all of a sudden. After all it’s just clothes. You get bored of them sooner than you think.
F.P.: What would be the most difficult challenge for men who are eager to look good but do not yet know what to start from?
A.F.: To be themselves. In the era of the mass-marketed individual it is truly a challenge to follow your instincts. It’s a hard road, but one that, in the end, pays. It is also a wonderful strengthening exercise. Looking good is mostly about feeling good and being courteous. Dressing appropriately is a sign of respect: for yourself and others.
F.P.: Never without?
A.F.: A pen in my breast pocket: to take notes, write down ideas, catch inspirations on my notebook.
F.P.: Dress to impress who?
A.F.: Nobody but yourself. Without trying too hard. Sprezzatura is an essential quality: it’s the art of being effortless.
F.P.: The first job that inspired you and made you wanted to link your profession with writing about fashion?
A.F.: Fashion writing is a passion I discovered early on in my life. It grew naturally as I was doctoring in art history at the university. Meeting Rebecca Voight in 2001, at that time editor-in-chief at Dutch magazine, kickstarted my career.
F.P.: Ever wanted to have a tattoo?
A.F.: No. But earplugs are a fantasy I cherish.
F.P.: Do you collect anything special?
A.F.: Books. It’s not a collection, however, but a cultural necessity.
F.P.: Favorite countries to shop at and favorite brands if there are any?
A.F.: I love the south of Italy: Naples, Palermo, my hometown Ragusa. I always favor the old forgotten shops. Then my tailor alters my purchases to my own will.
F.P.: Daily fashion magazine reads?
A.F.: The On the Runway blog of the NY Times, Style.com, The Business of fashion.
F.P.: What is the best style advice received?
A.F.: I once read this quote from film director Jean-Luc Godard and made it mine: “It’s not where you take things from, but where you take them to”. Also, I believe, according to Wallace Stevens, that “Reality is the product of the imagination”.
F.P.: The most confusing moment in your life and career?
A.F.: I try not to look back. I take even the confusing and hard moment as an occasion to progress.
F.P.: How has your approach to getting dressed changed during the last two years?
A.F.: It’s become at once stricter and more playful. I feel less rigid, even if the uniform is very codified.
F.P.: Is it better to wear shoes with socks or without?
A.F.: It depends. I love a naked ankle with a tuxedo.
F.P.: Best rule in clothes combinations to break?
A.F.: Mixing patterns. It is considered a big NO, but I love it!
F.P.: Worst fashion mistake?
A.F.: Trying too hard.
F.P.: Most inspiring place you’ve been to?
A.F.: Traveling with loved ones always inspires me, wherever I go.
F.P.: Your unique piece of advice to the readers of The Fashiongton Post and fashionistas?
A.F.: Take style as an all-around practice: it’s the way you dress, but also the way you talk, write, behave, eat. Also, do not take yourself too seriously. It is a fatal mistake. Lightness is a charming quality.