“The more cameras point at me, the more I want to replace the addiction to the excitement of public recognition with the severe, self-sufficient cleanliness of absolute privacy. This is how an undercover agent must feel infiltrating a foreign environment. (…) I want to fade to grey— or white, or patterned silk, for that matter. I want to charge my presence with the hazy, foggy quality of a distant memory. (…) The ultimate goal is rather to disappear in plain sight.”— I Am Not Here, by Angelo Flaccavento
“Today style is a showy, speedy affair: impact is demanded in the shortest time, with the flashiest burst, or you’re dead. Look splendid and you win, even if your manners, stance, posture and speech are less than splendid.”—I Am Not Here, by Angelo Flaccavento
1. Be light. Don’t turn your opinion of fashion into a declaration of war. Maintaining a uniform is your choice, not a dogma.
2. Know that you are in good company. Coco Chanel, Diana Vreeland, Gio Ponti and Beau Brummell all excelled in the practice. But don’t use it as an excuse to look down on others. Refrain from judging.
3. Look at yourself in the mirror, thoroughly and severely. Consider your pros and cons and deicide what to highlight. It can be everything. Sometimes cons are more charming than pros: a prominent belly can be more sensational than a six-pack. Trust your instinct, and the uniform will begin to feel natural.
4. Trust in Dieter Rams: ” Less, but better.” Edit down to the bare essentials, plus, perhaps, a tiny bit more. You should be able to get ready in a flash and with a thoughtful, quick edit. Likewise, never plan an outfit in advance; the result would be rigid. A little mistake here and there feels lively.
5. Be modular: you will augment your sartorial possibilities in a logical, efficient way. If you can mix and match, your wardrobe will expand virtually without taking up vital space.
6. Choose your uniform according to the idea of yourself you have in mind. Let the immaterial shape your material expression of your persona, without restrictions and boundaries. Stripes and mismatched patterns can be to you what solid black or clerk-like grey is to others. That’s how the game works.
7. Ignore what people say. Wear a suit to the grocery store, if you wish. Clothes should be an expression of your inner self, but they should also display courtesy. Dressing appropriately is a gesture of kindness, for oneself and for others.
8. Look at what’s happening in fashion. Be critical but look. Then adopt and adapt, or you’ll turn into a grumpy old statue covered in dust.
9. Evolve, avoiding dogmatism and orthodoxy. You’re not the same person from day to day. Your uniform should change accordingly.
10. Defy expectations. Don’t let the uniform take over, and don’t allow yourself to be identified by your uniform. Break it up once in a while. Be a prankster. Remember: situationism rules.
11. Hey, they’re just clothes, you’ll get tired of them sooner than you think.
“The behind the scenes is almost becoming as important as the scene,” Mr. Elbaz said. “It is like, when we are at the shows today, what we see the editors wearing is almost more important than what they are seeing on the runway. In art, the curators are becoming more important than the artists. Now it becomes about how you put your show together, and not about what you show.”—Alber Elbaz