New York's spring fashion issue includes a Q&A with Japanese Vogue's fashion director, Anna Dello Russo. In the magazine she discusses her immaculate wardrobe and obsession with fashion. In this special extension of what you'll find in the issue, she discusses the personal-style blogging phenomenon.
What made you want to go to Milan to pursue a graduate degree in fashion?
Because it’s not just about dreaming or making a choice between a pair of shoes — it’s more complex. It’s really a professional job. That’s what I started studying really seriously. After that I started my really long, long training in Condé Nast with Franca Sozzani — to become a good professional journalist. If you have passion for something that you’re doing is one thing, but to make it your career is a completely different thing.
You gained a lot of recognition through your wardrobe by appearing on blogs like the Sartorialist.
I find all the new generation to this blog — the thinking, "Oh it’s so easy come in fashion, be visible." The young people, they really thinking it’s enough — pictures in Sartorialist or whatever — to be visible. But it’s not like that. It took me twenty year working really behind the scenes to make my style, my career, my personality so high. I spent at least fifteen years just working so hard to understand the language of designers or images. I never miss a show — never, never, never miss one season show. Always be there with all the information and working with photography, working with the magazine, and understanding. That’s what really make a change for me — I was a kid with dreams and now I’m a professional. That’s at least fifteen years working really, really hard to understand what fashion means.
So many successful blogs are built around people who mainly just post pictures of themselves in their clothes.
Sometimes I get surprised by the young people, want to have the result sooner and they’re thinking now everything changed, you can be noticed, you can be someone immediately because you have great style. Great style, okay, is something, but it’s not enough to be really a good worker. Your style is part of your imagination, but beyond your style has to be a deep experience also, a deep knowledge about fashion. Sometimes I notice no one remembers the last ten years of fashion. We can say it’s a young profession, but if we already have 50 years full of designer, full of history, no one remembers at least the last five years. The young generation doesn’t know.
But I never, never forget the preparation it took me. For fifteen years I was invisible because I was working behind everyone — the photographer, the camera. That’s also part of my style because I can recognize every different flavor of fashion. I know very well the last twenty years of fashion. Sometimes you say, "Oh that’s a fantastic look," but this look is just a copy of some other look.
For me, fashion [is] also geology — you cannot understand now if you don’t know anything about last ten years of fashion at least. Someone doesn’t even remember Tom Ford, what that means. It’s so easy to forget in fashion. "Oh, this is brand-new." It’s not brand-new, it’s just an evolution of what it was.
Related: One-Woman Show [NYM]