Franca: Chaos and Creation

Vogue Italia by Franca Sozzani 
I have always taken good care of my collection of magazines, just as I have of our books and films. To be honest, both my husband and I were a little freaked out at first of the day our son would start crawling and then walking, especially that we didn’t want to remodel our home and that we certainly did not want to let toys take over every room. But, although our CDs have not all been so lucky, our books and films have remained intact, and we are hoping for the best. My magazines, too. My editions of Vogue Italia outnumber by far the rest of the fashion magazines I have gathered over the years and it is them that I am most fond of. The Italian Vogue is one of the two fashion magazines I still read. And I have loved it because of Franca Sozzani. She made it what it is today.

Remember in American Gigolo, when Richard Gere is lovingly laying out his clothes on the bed? I just thought of that (maybe because my mind is so used to making movie connections) when I took out my Italian Vogue copies that December day, flipped through my favourite editions, inevitably stopping to re-read an article here and there, carefully rearranging every single one of them. I decided to grant them the best reading nook in the house, the whole stack of them. It suits them well, too.
Vogue Italia by Franca Sozzani 
With all due respect to good journalism, I have to admit that what I have read in the media after Franca Sozzani’s unexpected passing away in December (not just the simple reportings of the fact, but also the articles which were supposedly paying their tribute to Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief for 28 years) failed to move me in any way. And, please, please, if you are going to post something on your social media, refrain from using hashtags and that most horrible, clumsiest three-initial-letter acronym ever invented. Show a little respect and class. Even if you have not personally known the person, but admired in the public realm, and feel you need to express the sadness of their loss, using that hashtag is simply lazy, reductive, appalling, just not right. How about saying “Thank you”? Thank you for the creativity, for the beauty, for the vision, for the art, for your what you have left behind. I felt I knew you a little because I read your magazine. Isn’t this what we want to say? I hope it is.

Anyone with a slight interest in fashion knows about Franca Sozzani’s fearlessness, her wild imagination, her unique way of fusing social issues with fashion, of using images as international language, of merging reality with fantasy. And anyone who has understood that fashion is so much more than clothes knows why Franca has revolutionised fashion. This is all true and worth repeating, yes. Emotional? No. I felt that every piece of writing on the subject lacked emotion. Which is why I am so grateful that Franca Sozzani’s son, Francesco Carrozzini, made a documentary about his mother, Franca: Chaos and Creation, which he presented at the Venice Film Festival in September. I am also glad that Franca approved of it, saw it and was content with it. It’s the only portrait of Sozzani I care to see. And if you watch it first, do let me know what you think.

photos by me

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