Valentino Ricci on the Art of Dressing

Marineblå blazer, hvide bukser med høje opslag og brune hyttesko i ruskind

Valentino Ricci of Sciamat communicates silently through his expression and attire to the English speaking clothing community. Sometimes he grips the word. I remember an entertaining Italy vs England match-up on youtube, in which he criticizes Jeremy Hackett’s padded suit.

“Don’t hide your shoulders,” he states at one point to a slightly confused Jeremy Hackett.

Recently, when flipping through my photos from Italy, I decided to contact Valentino Ricci to have a few more opinions from him on the art dressing. What is behind this elegant, cool picture he creates?

Valentino-Ricci-Sister-Florence-The-Journal-of-Style-1

What makes style personal, natural and elegant?

Style reflects our personality. Style is a reservoir in our mind, a secret code by which we translate ourselves through clothes.

Dressing is an art, and only artists can practice it in a natural and, therefore, elegant way.

How do you look at colors, patterns and textures ?

You cannot think properly about colors, patterns and textures without having studied the past. There are colour combinations, styles and quality materials, which great men came about laying out the premises of classic men’s dress of today.

And, as we start to rework those elements contained in taste and make them current, they should be personal and always complying with the principles of classic taste.

What typical mistakes do you see in the dressing?

A mistake often seen is the wearing of a sports jacket with a lighter shade of trousers. Personally, I think that for a dress to become a whole, the jacket should always be darker than the trousers to respond to a pure aesthetic simplicity. When you don’t see this simplicity at work, you know immediately that you are dealing with someone who has not studied.

Should clothing refine a man, or should it show who he is?

When dress is not a trivial requirement, but a heartfelt requirement, you can arrive at a state of the art, and that defines the man and shows that you are in the presence of an artist. But the latter is the exception. For most people dress is a trivial necessity.

For some people dress is a way to perform differently on the stage of life. Others (with no skills) dress for posing as masters of style; and dress can be a tool for people to get rid of themselves and look different from the man, whom they are in reality.

It is clear that everyone dress as they like, but they must be men knowledgeable of the rules and able to dress in order to sublimate the art and, thus, to meet themselves in the sight of God.

How will classic clothing develop in the years to come?

That is the million-dollar question!

In general, it is the interpreter, who summarizes society in attire.

If we look at today’s young generations, there is little interest in classics: habits, ways of doing things, mentality, and, even less, interest in clothing.

And, the example that comes from older generations has not caught younger generations, since we seem to have stopped being serious, honest and responsive to the canons of life founded by our fathers and our grandfathers.

I think dressing in the original sense is destined to become a classic like the Latin language: dead or, at best, known by few survivors only.

Nicola-Ricci-Sister-Florence-The-Journal-of-Style-1

Nicola Ricci, Valentino Ricci’s brother and business partner.

The interview with Valentino Ricci in Italian:

Che cosa rende lo stile personale, naturale ed elegante?

Lo stile è un riflesso della nostra persona, è una riserva della nostra mente, è un codice segreto col quale traduciamo noi stessi attraverso i nostri vestiti.

Vestire è un arte e solo gli uomini artisti la esercitano in maniera naturale e, perciò, elegante.

Come si guarda ai colori, modelli e texture?

Non si può pensare a colori, modelli e texture senza aver studiato. Ci sono abbinamenti cromatici, stilistici e di materia prima con i quali in passato alcuni grandi uomini hanno fondato le premesse del vestire classico maschile.

E’ da qui che si parte per rielaborare quei contenuti di gusto e renderli attuali, personali e sempre rispondenti ai principi del gusto classico.

Quali errori tipici vedete nel vestirsi?

L’errore che più spesso noto è quello che  si commette quando si veste uno spezzato indossando la giacca con una tinta più chiara del pantalone. Personalmente ritengo che se il vestito non è intero, la giacca debba essere sempre più scura del pantalone per rispondere ad un estetismo cromatico talmente semplice che, quando  non c’è , capisci subito che hai di fronte uno che non ha studiato.

Ovviamente di chi indossa il nero di mattina o si sposa di sera con un tight non conviene neanche parlarne.

Potrebbe il vestito definire l’uomo o mostrare chi è?

Quando il vestire non è una banale necessità, ma una esigenza intima, questa può arrivare allo stato dell’arte, ed è chiaro che definisce quell’uomo e mostra che si è in presenza di un artista. Ma non sempre è così. Per quasi tutti vestire è una banale necessità; per molti vestire è un modo di esibirsi variamente sul palcoscenico della vita; per altri (senza arte nè parte) vestire è atteggiarsi a maestri di stile e per qualcuno vestire è uno strumento per depistare da se stessi e apparire diversi da ciò e da chi in realtà si è.

E’ chiaro che ognuno veste come gli pare, ma saranno di esempio solo quegli uomini conoscitori delle regole e capaci di vestire allo scopo di sublimare quest’arte e, così, di incontrare se stessi al cospetto di Dio.

In che modo l’abbigliamento classico svilupperà negli anni a venire?

Questa è una domanda da 10000 $”!

L’abbigliamento, di solito, sintetizza la società che ne è interprete.

Se oggi guardiamo alle giovanissime generazioni, non c’è più niente di classico: nè di abitudini, nè di usi, nè di modi, nè di mentalità, nè tanto meno di abbigliamento.

E l’esempio che viene dalle generazioni meno giovani non è molto più incoraggiante, giacchè sembra che abbiamo abdicato tutti ad un modo di pensare e di fare serio, onesto e rispondente ai canoni del vivere fondati dai nostri padri e dai nostri nonni.

Penso che l’abbigliamento classico sia destinato a diventare come la lingua latina: morta o al massimo, nota a pochissimi superstiti nel mondo.

Source: The Journal of Style

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5 Responses to Valentino Ricci on the Art of Dressing

  1. Recusant says:

    Interesting, but he has two problems. Firstly, the ridiculous length and narrowness of trousers that the Italians have been affecting for some time: fine on someone of eighteen, but on a grown man? Secondly, his hair. It is at least ten years too young for him and makes him look like a superannuated Lotharion.

  2. RBIggs123245 says:

    Was this a typo?

    “A mistake often seen is the wearing of a sports jacket with a lighter shade of trousers… the jacket should always be darker than the trousers

  3. Peter says:

    Thanks for your article, but you don’t give reasons for your assertions – to claim trousers should not be lighter than jackets – why?

    I don’t understand Italian, although the vocabulary has the same etymology as English in half the cases, it’s not enough to understand your text.

  4. TRC says:

    Valentino Ricci opines that ”If we look at today’s young generations, there is little interest in classics: habits, ways of doing things, mentality…”

    I echo Recusant in that i wish he’d take a look at the mirror and acknowledge that his cropped trousers, which is way too tight – especially in the crotch- is not a way of doing things.
    I also don’t care for his punk-rocker hairstyle and short jacket but that makes me too stuffy!

    Like with most Italians in menswear, he does have sartorial audacity and flair. However, he acknowledges custom and tradition but doesn’t respect it: there is no congruency to his apparel!

    Matteo Marzotto? Now that is an elegant man.

  5. I too would love to know more about Mr. Ricci’s claim of:

    “the jacket should always be darker than the trousers”

    I don’t know much about classic formal wear and would love to understand the logic behind this claim.

    Thanks!

Comments are closed.