Written by Monica Camozzi
Fashion as an anthropological expression, as a cultural forge, as an extreme synthesis.
Because after all, behind this word lie life stories, yearnings, soul paths, experiences that flow into the lexicon of a dress, of a collection. Liborio Capizzi is a tangible manifestation of this: born in Ribeira, Sicily, raised in Tuscany, living in Milan in Gianfranco Ferré’s atelier of which he was the ‘dauphin’, today the creator of the Diliborio world, this fashion artist represents the melting pot. Or, to quote Dali, the Persistence of Creativity.
From punk fascination to Gianfranco Ferré’s atelier, apparently two opposites: were they really so?
Clearly, if we think of the punk of the common imagination and of that clichéd aesthetic that exploded in London in the second half of the 1970s – and which also became a commercial success among young people throughout the western world – it clearly has nothing to do with Ferré’s world of luxury.
If, on the other hand, we look at the early punk movement, born a few years earlier in the intellectual underground circles in the New York of Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’, where a subculture of youth and its own icons theorised the artistic manifesto of rebellion against everything and everyone, we can say that these two worlds so apparently distant actually had the same root. That is, an institutional bourgeois wardrobe as a starting point and, for different reasons, also as a point of arrival.
In the case of punk, they were
stolen from the institutional bourgeois wardrobe and worn with refined rudeness as one could not or should not do
with desecrating interventions to distort the social meaning it represented and with the ultimate aim of creating cynical disgust.
With Ferré, I learnt to analyse that wardrobe made up of the same apparently boring but well-made garments, then to break it down and re-read it, to understand all its secrets and from there create new ones.
When did you realise you were a style bearer?
IInitially I would say since I noticed that what I wore or how I put it on aroused interest, approval and advice in others, and later when I saw my collections create excitement and desire.
What tools does an aesthete have to rebel against conformity?
Does an aesthete have to be anti-conformist to be considered such? If so, he must have a profound knowledge of the type of conformism he is rebelling against in order to then be able to counter it and go the opposite way, and in any case with a healthy and cynical intelligence.
What is beauty? What kind of woman do you associate with this concept?
I started working in fashion in the early 90s. At a time when supermodels were all the rage.
I got to know and meet the most beautiful women in the world if we talk about the classical parameters and canons of beauty.
‘But beauty was not only what I saw but what came to me from fascination and above all from empathy
Is the dress a black and white photo or is it in colour?
The dress is a white sheet of paper where black strokes delimit and create a shape and colours are consequences present only when necessary.
Can we still say something new through fashion?
Yes, but in order to do so, we must not forget the past.
The cultural references of the great sartorial tradition are necessary in order to continue to say something new and, above all, credible.
Without them it would be like building a building without foundations.
Do you dress a body or the personality that inhabits it?
The body, for sure, as the first thing, and then I bring out the personality -even the unexpected- of the wearer of my garments, regardless of age, gender and type of features. The basis of my work always starts with a neutral form. Then, depending on the material and with the help of gravity, I create a miracle of different shapes for different people.
The surprising thing is that everyone starts from the same root, makes the dress with an entirely personal motivation that also involves sexual attitude, sometimes unknown or hidden until then. And I think this is the purpose of my work.
A dream of yours still unrealised
It will never be realised, unfortunately: that of not having been able to continue to give voice to my mentor and great friend Gianfranco Ferré, of whom I was his right-hand man for more than 16 years.
I owe him so much, I learnt, assimilated and evolved his vision as his dauphin. Only I could have continued his project, with the proper respect that one of the world’s greatest creators deserves.
If you were a film, what film would you be?
More than being the film, I would have liked to live in a film that marked and inspired me and continues to be an indelible aesthetic and musical reference for me, Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’; a 1981 film with a dark, decadent and brutally romantic future.
CREDITS Photographer: Fabio Paleari