Alessia Caliendo, stylist, art director, producer, editor, and creative consultant, has chosen the timeless beauty of Lake Como as the location for talking about an immortal trend: the animalier.
Nice to Meet You, I Am: Alessia Caliendo stylist, art director, producer, and Fashion Styling & Communication teacher in some Italian and international schools.
Location: We are at the Hotel Villa Flori, in Cernobbio. The hotel is located in an ancient villa, one of the most beautiful of Lake Como. Built in 1800 by Marquis Raimondi and already used by the Lombard nobility, in 1958 it was transformed into a Hotel and then it was completely renewed in recent years.
Trend: Considered “the New Black” by many, due to its presence on the Fall/Winter 2018/2019 catwalks, the animalier has actually been a part of the women’s wardrobe for a long time. A trend that knows no seasons and that includes all the animal prints: the python, the leopard print, the tiger print, tortoises pattern, and the zebra print. Who cleared this style was Christian Dior who, inspired by his muse Mitzah Bricard, in 1947 made a collection of leopard pattern chiffon dresses followed by the use of animals fur on the cuffs of his coats and hats.
However, the real triumph of this print occurred in the ’70s and ’80s, when it was appreciated by all the celebrities of the time for both the daytime and for the evening thanks to its glam rock allure. Valentino, in 1987, was also conquered by the jungle style, followed by Gianni Versace, who proposed spotted silk shirts for the male Prét-a-portér, and Azzedine Alaia, who dressed Grace Jones in a total animalier look consecrating her as the eternal muse of music and, above all, of style.
The Touch Of Style: Let’s put aside the idea that the animalier is vulgar, or even worse, that is not elegant. We have to review the rules according to good taste and common sense. The trend can be declined in an accessory, such as the K3 sunglasses, but also in a hood, a skirt, or a handbag. If the total look scares, it’s better to bet everything on a single but strong detail, that can be also matched to prints such as the check, the pied de poule, and the neon colors.
Trendspotting: Will we ever see it worn by the new Duchess of Sussex who with her cosmopolitan style is defying the rigid court protocol?
Your Favorite Fashion Book: It’s “A Gun For Hire,” a volume published in 2005 that collects all the photography of Helmut Newton from 1962 to 2003, including his collaborations with Vogue, Biba London, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Thierry Mugler, Blumarine, Villeroy & Boch, and Absolute Vodka. I’m also an assiduous buyer of all the exhibition catalogs that I visit around the world.
Steal Style: I’ve got many icons from people coming from fashion, cinema, music, art, and literature universes, to those who I meet everyday on the streets. It is very complicated to choose only one.
“We have to review the rules according to good taste and common sense.”
Your Fashion Superpower: In the last few years I have wished to be able to split myself in order to better live all the opportunities. I also believe that my days should last 36 hours at least.