Franco Jacassi arrived in the fashion world after a series of experiences as a gallery owner, bibliophile and refined art collector. Jacassi succeeded in turning one of his hobbies into an original research business, opening his own showroom – Vintage Delirium – in a beautiful courtyard in the old part of Milan, which has now become a reference point for the sector. He will be in the Vintage Selection section at Pitti and we asked him to talk to us about his career and about recent trends.
It may be rather a predictable question, but how did you get involved in vintage? What first sparked your interest in what has now become a career?
I became interested in fashion at the end of the 1970s, when I was a bookseller and I started selling books about fashion and old archives of silk and wool to people in the weaving business in Biella and Como. My relationship with Sergio Loro Piana in particular led me to carry out more specific research in order to publish a book about the history of men’s fashion: “Elegance and style”. But I also still had vivid memories of my experiences as a young man at the Emmaus organisation in Copenhagen in 1969, when we used to go around the houses ringing doorbells in our search for second-hand clothes for charity.
Have you got a favourite epoch?
I can’t really talk about favourite epochs, but the Hippies fashion of the 1970s influenced me a lot, and also the “pop” period from Courreges to Cardin and Paco Rabanne. I also really like the extravagance of the Twenties, the Thirties of Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet’s cuts.
Is there some object or garment from your collection that you would never give away for anything?
I’d never give away the Orientalist clothes I have, especially a “kimono” by Louise Boulangere from 1924 or a Pernette dress embroidered all over with multicoloured pearls, or the Orientalist fabrics of Jean Dunand.
What trends have been appearing recently in this fashion sector, which is attracting increasing attention?
Today the period of the late 1980s and early ’90s is very much in demand, especially designers such as Gianni Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Montana, Mugler and Alaia; or the Japanese designers Miyake, or Kawakubo for Comme Des Garcons, and more recently designers such as Martin Margiela.