Fashion and music are two sides of the same coin, two universes of meaning which dialogue and create a hybrid with one another. We are always led to consider them as a single entity, and perhaps we wouldn’t even be able to imagine one disconnected from the other. Artists such as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Madonna, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga have taught us that the right image can define, if not build, an entire character, just as much as their talent. Besides, many scholars have explored this connection, most notably the anthropologist Ted Polhemus, who often stressed how “Over the course of history, the musician has been a figure to watch, besides being listened to”.
Thus music and fashion are two forms of communication, two actual languages. Now more than ever, the visual package of musical talents is manufactured behind the scenes, and behind this process lie stylists, professional figures capable of bringing life to imaginaries of strong emotional impact, which powerfully attract our gaze.
“Above all, dressing a person means knowing their true essence. That is where everything starts. I see clothing as a bridge between different cultural areas and physicality: only when I manage to build solid bridges is my work done”. These are the words Susanna Ausoni, celebrity styling queen in Italy, describes her profession that has led her to collaborate with the biggest artists in music and showbiz. Ausoni has a long career behind her, first working for MTV in the 90s, and currently being the creator of looks for stars of the calibre of Mahmood, Noemi, Elisa and Francesca Michielin.
Nicolò “Nick” Cerioni, a creative visionary who often uses irony and surprise, had his professional training precisely with Ausoni. He has collaborated with Jovanotti for 10 years. Cerioni’s aesthetic signature is surely high-impact and often controversial; not coincidentally, he is indeed behind many of Achille Lauro’s, including that by Gucci which he wore at the 2020 edition of the Sanremo Festival, an unforgettable tulle, crystal-studded jumpsuit.
He is also the person behind Måneskin’s glam-rock aesthetics, as well as the new trend that Orietta Berti has recently taken up; “Orietta is a free, open-minded woman, she is our Lady Gaga”, he commented, surely a daring comparison which however high- lights the irony behind such a makeover.
Sometimes a change in image can put an artist’s career into turbo mode. As one of the most requested stylists in the music biz, Ramona Tabita knows this quite well. She is behind Elodie’s metamorphosis from ‘Amici’ alumna to femme fatale, as well as Ghali’s frequent collaborator for years.
One of the biggest new names in the field is Lorenzo Oddo, a.k.a. Mr. Lollo, fashion designer who was part of the Marco de Vincenzo’s team for years, as well as Levante’s go-to stylist. “Claudia is an expressive, extraordinary force, she’s like a blank page that paints itself through clothing, in different colours each time. She’s got exceptional charisma, she can wear anything without it overpowering her image”, he says.
It is precisely during a Levante concert that Oddo met Veronica Lucchesi and Dario Mangiaracina, a.k.a. La Rappresentante di Lista, whose image he also curated at the latest edition of the Sanremo Festival. “When I heard the song, I instantly thought of putting two characters on the stage; we spent months in the Moschino archives looking for the right pieces that would help us represent the song’s themes visually. The record is apparently light, fun, but at the same time, it compels us to think about the world around us. We opted for looks that were apparently playful, but that would also convey a deep message, high-impact outfits that would perfectly complement the narrative. Styling starts from the mind, there has to be some thought behind it”.
If we will remember Blanco’s cloaks and light blouses from the latest Sanremo Festival, we have Silvia Ortombina, a.k.a. Tiny Idols, to thank, who’s collaborated with the artist for years. “I wanted to translate carnality into simple elegance, to represent the body rather than the spirit, to represent a lucid dream that lives in an authentic, real feeling. Pierpaolo Piccioli has always had the ability to superbly translate that kind of aesthetics, and I was honoured to collaborate with the Valentino team, starting precisely with the Maison’s statements: cloak and chiffon. I wanted to give life to a powerful message by combining embroidery and tattoos, repainting the body in a precious, but simple way at the same time, affirming that fashion is not a question of trends, but style”.
Who can argue with that?
Opening image: Riccardo Fabbriconi a.k.a. Blanco