July 18, 2014 by Ville Raivio
VR: Your age and occupation?
GM: I’m turning 40 in July. I’m a director and producer, a film-maker, I guess.
VR: Your educational background?
GM: I’ve studied at NYU film school and at The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute.
VR: Have you any children or spouse (and how do they relate to your style enthusiasm)?
GM: I have a girlfriend but no children (yet). My style enthusiasm is a very personal thing that I think I’ve always had. I and my girlfriend are different; I know she appreciates my vision but she has other interests, and I like that.
VR:…and your parents and siblings’ reactions back when you were younger?
GM: They have always been very open-minded and have always supported me in my choices, even though they were always worrying.
All stills from O’Mast by Gianluca Migliarotti
VR: What other hobbies or passions do you have besides apparel and moving pictures?
GM: One thing I like about my vision of life, which is something you cannot project or design, I think, is that I’m interested and fascinated by a lot of different things: the concept of quality overall and the expression of the self through arts, especially paintings and photography. I’ve always been interested in cars and motorbikes too, and I observe everything that has an interesting aesthetic and performance. Traveling is wonderful and meeting people and different cultures has always been a must for me.
VR: How did you first become interested in clothing, and when did you turn your eyes towards classic style? Why classics instead of fashion?
GM: I grew up in Naples in a family where the male side had already this custom of going to the tailor and to the shirt maker. My father is a real connoisseur in terms of bespoke suits and my uncle used to be a very elegant man himself, a little more focused on vanity, though. I’ve always had this interest in aesthetics it seems and I’ve been through different periods of style; I’ve been a motor biker, too, one of those tough-looking guys with boots and leather jackets. I was searching inside me, because I think that dressing is a language and you have to find your own.
But I have to admit that I’ve always been bonded to classic Neapolitan style and the quality of bespoke suits. It’s very personal, but believe me, when I look at some details in my jackets, I still get excited like when I was a teen. Fashion is interesting to research, but it cannot have that quality in terms of thr product and it doesn’t even look for it; it’s all about surface and this, I think, pushes it far from elegance.
VR: How have you gathered your knowledge of apparel — from books, in-house training, workshops or somewhere else?
GM: No, simply by observing and using clothes, asking questions from my tailor and so on. It’s all about experience, I guess, and a sense of things. I’m not a very technical person and I’m not very interested in the technical details, but I think I have a strong sense of quality.
VR: How would you describe your own dress? Have you any particular style or cut philosophy?
GM: For suits and sport coats, I can only say that it’s the purest Neapolitan style, the real Vincenzo Attolini style that I can now see only in the cut of a few tailoring houses. I obviously mix it with more international ingredients, playing with colors and fabrics, especially in shirts. I like to put in some rock’n’roll. Nothing too crazy, though. I used to like dandies, but I now find them over-designed. Elegance should be natural.
Antonio’s Colours, the second latest from GM
VR: Which shoemakers, RTW clothes makers or tailors do you favour today?
GM: I like Edward Green, Crockett&Jones and Carmina for shoes. For RTW, I do not like many things but I’ve tried a RTW jacket from Sartoria Formosa that was almost a bespoke piece. I tend to be very loyal to my tailor; therefore this is what I really like, even though, if I had to go for a Casentino coat, I would obviously choose Antonio Liverano. It depends on what you need; for example, a smoking jacket has to be from Savile Row.
VR: Please describe how you fell in love with films, and why you chose documentaries over other art forms.
GM: I started to feel the need to tell stories, I mean any story I found interesting. Catching reality is the most exciting and direct thing for me, therefore I chose documentaries as my form of story telling; though there’s the financial part, too, ‘cause docs are less expensive to produce.
VR: While we’re on the subject of moving pictures, which directors have affected your work?
GM: I have no answers for this; really, I like and respect a wide number of directors. Obviously there are influences in my work, but nothing that I’ve really decided on.
VR: Any future films my readers should know about?
GM: Sure! I’ve just presented E’ poi c’è Napoli (And then there is Naples) produced with Pitti Immagine. I’m very proud of it! The next will be Driving Dreams , a doc about Italian car designers of the ’60s and ’70s. We are now starting a crowdfunding campaign on INDIEGOGO. Support us!
VR: How would you describe the “House style” of your films?
GM: Strongly human, strongly aesthetic.
VR: Who or what inspires you?
GM: Reality, human beings with a will and a strong vision. Everyday heroes. Smart people. Free spirits.
VR: What is your definition of style?
GM: Whatever expresses one person’s personality with certain details, basically. Good taste or elegance is something else, though. For me, dressing is a language.
VR: Finally, what tips would you like to share to men who are unsure which Neapolitan tailor would suit them best? After all, not all of them have the time to visit each and every one in the city or the towns around Naples.
GM: Go with the classics; don’t trust exaggerations like the mappina shoulder or crazy lapels. My tailor used to say that anything that’s too crazy is just commercial, and not for tailors.