Monday, 10 September 2012


Paper Magazine market director Luigi Tadini shows us how to get dressed for New York Fashion Week (or any week that involves looking your best).

You’ve obviously got a very well developed sense of personal style. What informs it? Where do you get your inspiration?My grandfather has been sort of a style icon for me since I was a child. He’s on the Italian side of the family—he’s from Milan—so he dressed like the typical Milanese, Fellini-esque character that you would imagine. Always incredibly tailored, always incredibly kempt, but he had a very personal style. And I’ve always admired that appreciation for style, and that almost innate, meticulous nature where you organically approach your closet.
So I think the foundation of my closet is pretty classic—because you can’t really go wrong with a perfectly tailored suit or just a white tee and nice raw jeans—but I’m certainly more adventurous with my style. Living in New York and working for a publication like Paper, over the years I’ve learned that clothes can not only reflect your personality, but also have humor in them or some social connotation. They can speak in that way, and I tend to have fun with that.

So how do you put a look together in the morning?


I don’t approach dressing every day with something in mind, or spend hours in front of my closet, because ultimately I bought everything in there because I like it. So I just get up and throw something on. Of course, during Fashion Week, you think a little bit more about what you’re wearing.

I was curious about that, because you tend to get quite a few photos snapped of you, so I presume your approach changes once Fashion Week rolls around.I think it does. There are a couple things you have to think about, because you’re starting at shows at 9 a.m., finishing them in the evening, and maybe even going out after the last show. You have to dress in a way that works for day to night, for business or for a party. It’s a situational wardrobe, that's number one. Two, there’s a certain level of comfort you need to think about, because you’re running up and down the west side all day. And then lastly, it’s always a good place to test new, more adventurous outfits. It’s a good thermometer, and I guess you can get away with it more easily. I have fun with my wardrobe during Fashion Week. 

It seems like the popularity of street style photography has amplified that impulse. It's created a lot of peacocking, one-upmanship, and dressing for the camera.I agree. I think you might see more of that in the women’s market, but you definitely see a certain share of people who aren’t necessarily in the industry putting completely crazy outfits on. It certainly has made stars out of some people that perhaps otherwise would not have gotten a lot of attention, but I’m sure they’re uncomfortable all day long [laughs].
But what’s so interesting about this street fashion culture, and the ways it’s evolved, is that it’s made the fashion world—good or bad—more approachable to people. And at the end of the day, the industry is about dressing people, whichever way it trickles down from an haute couture show to what you can buy at a store. And street fashion has created a bridge between worlds that before, perhaps, felt very disconnected.

So it’s changing the way people view the industry.And it’s also created this paradigm shift. A couple years ago you heard a ton about the Antwerp Six and that scene, and they approached the world in this mathematical, scientific, architectural sort of way. Now, you’re seeing a lot of attention put on the London designers, who have always been influenced by subculture and street culture and street fashion. It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg situation, but there’s been a shift, so now, at the end of the day, the best fashion that you see in New York is what you see on the street, because you see such a hodgepodge of styles and colors and ethnicities. Ultimately, the best show in town is the show you see walking around town.

And the people who are making these street style moves are now influencing the industry, and the designers whose shows they were going to see in the first place.What’s really cool for me when I go to Tommy Ton's website, or Street FSN, or of course Garance [DorĂ©] or The Sartorialist, is seeing people wearing things that you would never have put together that way. For everyone that’s really passionate about clothes, whether it’s their business or not, it’s a way to represent your personality. So what’s really cool about these sites is seeing these clothes in movement, worn by real people that all have different backgrounds or life stories, which breathes new life and dimension into clothes that the designer himself may not have ever seen.

There are people that would argue that you are one of those people. How do you feel about your own place in the street style world? Do you embrace it? Is it completely bizarre?It’s something that I don’t really think about, to be honest. Of course everyone likes seeing a nice picture of themselves here or there, but I can tell you that the only difference when I’m dressing for Fashion Week—other than getting a little more adventurous—is that it forces me to dress up, because I'm going to be around people, and they’re all going to be dressed up, and maybe there’ll be a picture or two taken. It gives you that energy and motivation to put in a little bit of extra effort where otherwise you might not.

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