2010 December 8
I first fell in love with the Italian director’s work while studying in London. Howard Tangye
, my favorite tutor and a devout cinéaste
, always referenced Visconti’s incredible cinematic style and praised him above all others. Thus inspired, I would dutifully head down to the Central St. Martins library and try to absorb as much as I could, limited to checking out one film at a time by cruelly overzealous librarians (a crazy rebel, I always had an unbelievable amount of overdue books, so my borrowing abilities were severely restricted). Until his death in 1976,
Luchino Visconti directed about fourteen feature films. I haven’t seen all of them, but I have seen the ones I love so often that I feel confident in my ability to bluff about the director’s entire oeuvre. People only generally reference a few, and of those, three happen to be my favorites: The Damned
, The Leopard
, and Ludwig
. More than anything else, there’s an aesthetic to Visconti’s films that draws me to them: the scenes are rife with dreamy settings of decaying aristocratic decadence and a darkly antique, dust-settled elegance. Is there anything more beautiful than a bias-gown-clad Charlotte Rampling
gliding through a German estate for a dinner party?
It’s never fun to be sick, but there are worse ways to spend a four-day sojourn than tucked in bed, immersed in Visconti’s world. Plus, I’m now totally inspired for the fall collection!"