Interview: Diane Pernet
“A Shaded View of Fashion film (ASVOFF)” came to Rome after Paris, Milan, London and Antwerp thanks to the sponsorship between Bulgari and Altaroma Altamoda.
Diane Pernet is an eternally young lady – much like Rome itself, dressed in ancient clothes but with an intelligent smile and a beautiful skin able to see the future better than most. She loves the eternal city because she can truly understand the feminine spirit of it. She gets the Rome of Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini as well as the new kinds of creativity in fashion and beyond.
We asked something more about this love affair between these two ladies, by posing several questions to Diane Pernet:
When was your first time in Rome?
When I was 21, I came and stayed in an apartment at Campo de Fiori. I remember how enchanted I was by the history and the romance of the city. But more than that, I can clearly remember feeling this thrill in the air. Rome has this energy like no other place on Earth – an energy that touches you in a visceral way and leaves your senses heightened. Spine-tingling. It’s utterly refined yet raw and primal at the same time.
Perhaps that’s one reason why creativity seems to flow so naturally here.
When was your last time in Rome?
With ASVOFF – Roma, January 2014. And I can honestly say that I got the same spine-tingling sensation then that I got on my very first adventure to the city many decades ago.
What do you love about Rome?
Like so many other people around the world, I love the people, the history, the architecture, the food and the glamour of Rome. But I’m also inspired by more subtle, eluding qualities that give the city some of its magic. In Rome, when you walk its streets, there is a symphony happening all the time – its beautiful light, the warmth of the people and the musical quality of the language.
What don’t you like?
Honestly? I cannot think of anything that I don’t like.
Do you think that a festival of fashion film in Rome is different from your festivals in other place?
Here, the festival takes on a very glamorous quality, much like Rome and the Roman people. And perhaps a more timeless quality too. The participants of the Roman edition of the festival can still feel the drive to innovate but there seems to be a desire by the public to appreciate the highest quality of cinema, fashion and art – which makes the creators strive for something even better.
Are the cinematic images of Rome only of the old directors?
Of course it is hard for me to think about Rome and not think about Pasolini, Fellini , Anna Magnani, Sophia Loren or Italian cinema during the era of Visconti and Michelangelo Antonioni. But that is just embedded in my memory because of its amazing heritage. ‘I am Love’ by Luca Guadagnino is a film in that maintains the same purist spirit but in a contemporary way. We need to see what young directors have to express in their own unique ways wherever they may be from.
Is there a Roman style, a character that is good for contemporary fashion?
Without a doubt, glamour plays a big part in Roman style, both for men and women. The women seem to have been born with it. I also get a kick out of seeing men looking at their reflections in store windows, checking to make sure that they look fantastic. And I love the way old Roman men dress with their immaculately cut suits, handmade shoes and perfect hat. The search for artisanal perfection is an innate characteristic of Italians and I think that is something that the whole world cherishes about Italy and in particular Rome.
Its unique blend of dignity and charisma.