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DIANE: THE RECIPE OF FASHION ICON

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DIANE: THE RECIPE OF FASHION ICON
 

PHOTO CREDIT:  Diane Pernet

TEXT: TATIANA STOLYAROVA

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It would be enough to be born in Washington, make friends with the Factory people, launch your own cloths brand, get fed up of New York stress, move to Paris, become first fashion blogger and finally found a Fashion Film Festival.. well, it was a short bio of Diane Pernet.
We met Diane last month at her 13n Edition of A SHADED VIEW ON FASHION FILM FESTIVAL (ASSVOFF) in Paris. Fashion icon, considered by many as a pioneer of fashion blogs, organizer and director of SVOFF but also a designer, stylist and journalist. We talked with Diane about her beginnings, famous friends and her vision of the future of fashion.

You have got a degree in documentary filmmaking in Temple University. How did you get to fashion industry after?

I worked briefly in film then decided I did not like working with a team and went into reportage photography which you do by yourself and then went back to school, Parsons and FIT, for only 9 months and then opened my own brand. Since then I enjoy working with a team.

Did you know personally Andy Warhol? If yes, can you tell us about him and the role the Factory played in development of your creative personality?

I met Warhol, we were not friends and the Factory did not play any particular role in my creative personality. I knew Benjamin Liu who was Warhol’s right arm and was my friend, I dressed a few of the Warhol actors: Holly Woodlawn and Ultra Violet. I went sometimes to the factory but not a lot, I was more into the Mudd Club, Danceteria, the Michel Todd room, Area, Save the Robots, etc. etc.

You used to have a fashion brand in NY in 1980. Could you tell us what kind of style it was? For whom did you create?

I had my own brand for 13 years in New York with a license collection for 5 of those years with Seibu Department store. You can watch this raw video and come to your own conclusion:

What did inspire you to move and stay in Paris?

I came to Paris because I couldn’t stand living in New York any longer. I was a designer there for my own brand for 13 years. It was a famously difficult period of New York City life, the 1980s. A lot of crime and drugs, but also a lot of creativity. It took me three or four years of considering leaving. I had a business, people depended on me. But I thought, I have to live my life. So, without any particular strategy I moved to Paris thinking if I’m going to stay in fashion there is Paris, London, Milan and I chose Paris as it is the capital of fashion.

Your legendary “all black” look has become your trademark, how did you adopt it? Is there any story behind it and the insects’ brooches you usually wear in your headgear, do they have any hidden meaning?

There is no story behind my look, it is just “my look”. My friend Mario Salvucci made the spider pins, they were his initiative, not mine.

As a fashion icon, you appeared in many fashion movies, from Prêt-à-Porter, Roman Polanski's to Season-2 “Emily in Paris” series. Can you name one of the most memorable moments you had while turning in fashion movies?

They all had their high lights, Pret-a-Porter was fun to meet the likes of Sophia Loren, Marcello, Robert Altman, Tracy Ullman, Stephen Rae, etc. For the Ninth Gate it was great to meet Roman Polanski, for The Smell of Us it was great to meet Larry Clark, for Zoolander 2 it was great to meet Ben Stiller, for Balenciaga ‘The Lost Tape’ it was great to meet Harmony Korine and to have a chat with Cathy Horyn and Emily in Paris was fun as well.

We’ve been talking a lot about NFT’s and metaverse. What do you think of these topics in relation to fashion?

All topics like the metaverse, NFT’s, gaming and virtual fashion are only going to gain in importance as time goes on. Digital fashion aka the Fabricant and e-commerce sites xcouture and DressX are in the process of creating a retail apocalypse and all brands seem to be jumping on the bandwagon. In the metaverse physical and digital worlds merge. For a generation they don’t really distinguish between the digital and the physical world. For them having a digital collection is completely natural as Ian Rogers, the chief experience officer of Ledger, put it “his daughter hangs out with her friends online – on Instagram, tik tok, fortnite, animal crossing so for them why would I want a collection of stuff that no one can see when I can have a collection of digital stuff that eyeryone can see?”. I think that shows you the direction for the future.

Could you tell us your vision over the direction the fashion industry moving toward?

It is just a continuation of what I’ve stated above, the blurring of the physical and the digital in the Metaverse. Virtual fashion is transforming the fashion industry, people are buying digital sneakers, bags, clothes, jewellery…Gaming has been around for a long time and is inspiring the fashion industry all you have to do is look at brands like Balenciaga, Gucci, Balmain, Louis Vuitton and many others to see the writing is on the wall.

As a founder and director of ASVOF share your advice with young filmmakers who want to participate in your Festival?

It is ASVOFF (A SHADED VIEW ON FASHION FILM) ASVOF is my blog started in February 2005. ASVOFF started in 2008 however You Wear it Well, was my first fashion film festival in 2006. ASVOFF encourages both emerging and established artists to reconsider the way that fashion is presented and for challenging the conventional parameters of film. ASVOFF is widely considered as having incubated fashion film from its infancy to the popular genre that it has become today.

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