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GQ Style, Romeo Gigli


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Friday, October 16, 2009

GQ Style, Romeo Gigli

It was such a thrill to shoot Romeo Gigli recently for British GQ Style.

For those too young to remember, it's hard to explain the incredible, exotic, romantic world he created on the runway and in his shops during his height in the late 80's and early 90's. 

A huge amount of my appreciation of color combinations, proportion, genre mixing and pattern play came from studying any photos I could find of his runway shows (remember, this was In a fashion world of huge shouldered alpha women his women were quiet, artistic, gentle and seemed to have a strength of wisdom.

For a kid growing up in Indiana, his world seemed unimaginable to me. Actually it seemed more like another planet.

When people ask me if street style blogs will replace fashion magazines and big runway shows I always say "of course not." Designers like Romeo Gigli or photographers like Paolo Roversi create dream worlds that challenge us to make our real lives even more beautiful.

For me, the reality-based pictures I take are a way to supplement the fantasy world of my magazines and photo books.

Somewhere in-between fantasy and reality can be a pretty great place to live.

Comments on "GQ Style, Romeo Gigli"


Anonymous sioux said ... (12:23 PM) : 

hello,I apologize for my English a bit strange and not very correct ... I just wanted to tell you that you're a very good photographer, very sensitive, you can seize a person's soul beyond their clothes ... if only you want to, you could seduce us too, as did Paolo Roversi and Romeo Gigli ... I think it's a matter of sensibility, not skill ...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:24 PM) : 

amazing.. coincidences do not exist , I just left a comment on the Armani image that they should get Romeo Gigli for the Job.. he is / was an alchemist with fabrics , textures and shapes.. as was Armani before him .. tile that this guy finds a good financial backer and comes back ..It is time for softness and poezie again..



Blogger stacy said ... (12:24 PM) : 

very well said.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:25 PM) : 

When ever an italian designer , bring back Romea Gigli from the past, he invented the new woman silhouette in the end of the eighties beginning nineties.. soft shoulder like armani and great fabric research .. a true " alchemist" like is mr Armani..

if not ..

What about Martin Margiela himself, since he is not at his own Maison anymore thanks to mr Rosso/Diesel..
Martin does wonders with construction,and do not forget what he did with Hermes..

Armani and Martin are not about fashion but about culture.. though Martin is definitly way more modern and artistic.. I would wear Armani when knowing martin margiela would do it. it would take away the "dulness" of Armani.. this label need a constructive Boost..

Suddenly feeling like a very well thinking well informed "headhunter" : )


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:49 PM) : 

love that last line. great quote.


Blogger FASHION SNAG said ... (12:51 PM) : 

GREAT POST! You should write more.


Blogger Unknown said ... (1:06 PM) : 

Speaking of Indiana, when you going to do a book signing here?


Blogger green lantern said ... (1:08 PM) : 

Well put Sart. I believe that what you photograph are our efforts to be regal and fantastic. I don't play with LeBron but I can try his moves at the "Y." I feel that we all want to feel, breath, live some semblance of the fantasy life. Thank you artists for putting us in touch with it.


Blogger GodfreyKate said ... (1:31 PM) : 

I think they can exist on the same plane. Inspiration and reality walk hand-in-hand, Mr. S.

You honor one with the other. My altered hat is off to you.


Anonymous raina kattelson said ... (1:34 PM) : 

Thank you for writing so beautifully about Romeo- he is often forgotten these days. I still have some of his clothes from the 80's and they still look current and beautiful.


Anonymous The Photodiarist said ... (1:46 PM) : 

Beautiful photograph and interesting post. I agree with another person's comment -- you should write more!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:48 PM) : 

I was surprised when I saw that specific picture in GQ style specially because most of the pictures taken for that specific edition seemed to sterile and artificial to me. I am young and live in a rather fashion deprived place and did not know about Romeo until recently but seeing him dressed like that in that pic and reading about him made me open my eyes, the man is pure genius!


Blogger Allen - East Hampton said ... (1:57 PM) : 

Romeo Gigli was really something back then. Glad to see he's back. I remember accidentally stumbling across the RG store near Bloomingdales many years ago: they had stunning clothes beautifully done up in the windows. It put a big smile on my face.


Blogger coolbrandwatches said ... (2:03 PM) : 

I really like the overall style here very casual.
Casio And Timex Watches


Blogger An Aesthete's Lament said ... (2:08 PM) : 

I well remember his Fortuny-meets-Poiret style, with those great ballooning coats and lightly gilded velvets. Such beauty and truly romantic, in the best sense. His shop in New York City I used to visit often, just to be surrounded by his taste.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:12 PM) : 

I do so agree, loved Romeo Gigli's dreamy fashion and l o v e Paolo Roversi's atmospheric photos alongside Sarah Moon's


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:23 PM) : 

Romeo Gigli always had the most amazing color can still see the influence in collections like Lanvin and Thomas Maier for Bottega Veneta...


Blogger Jo said ... (2:28 PM) : 

Amen, to that. We will always need fashion shows, just like we will always need a nice glossy magazine in the hand.


Blogger said ... (2:32 PM) : 

Romeo Gigli will always have a place in the history of fashion. He has the ability to translate historical romanticism into fashion while maintaining a truley modern sensibility. A concept that is as relevant today as it was in the late 1980s.


Anonymous Angeline said ... (2:35 PM) : 

Mr. Gigli.... I still have his cocoon coat that I take out and wear once in a while. In a perfect fashion world, I wish Mr. Gigli would return with a collection. His sensitivity to colour, form and fabrication is greatly missed, at least by me. Thank you for the super pic of him!


Blogger beths said ... (2:36 PM) : 

Thanks for writing this post to accompany the photo. You have sensibility + skill--both are necessary to your fine work. Great to see a personal take on fashion history amidst the contemporary pictures.


Anonymous KOROK said ... (2:47 PM) : 

Romeo Gigli is a true original. Colour, shape, romance.

Even when he was restricting his colour palate, what he could do with dusty blues. Incredible.

He is looking well.


Anonymous Laney Landry said ... (2:54 PM) : 

Still today you see some of Romeo's fashion mimicked or brought back. I love that you posted this page and I do think that it could ride alongside the runways. Excellent photography and I loved your writing as well.


Anonymous Chesley said ... (3:14 PM) : 

LOVE! Romeo Gigli and his signature perfume. The richness of his clothes... I remember them featured in TAXI magazine... the inspiration has never stopped.


Blogger Jessica Repetto said ... (3:46 PM) : 

romeo is a visionary, and has created timeless pieces that i know i have not and continue to never forget.


Blogger Unknown said ... (3:53 PM) : 

i love the shirt he's wearing here...rolled up sleeves and all.


Anonymous olafgermany said ... (4:21 PM) : 

YES, of course i can remember him. When i was 20, i bought a huge a-line violet colored cotton coat...i loved it sooo much.. i wonder where i leaved him ?


Blogger sofiasophie said ... (4:41 PM) : 

they should hire him for Armani!


Blogger the style crusader said ... (4:50 PM) : 

from a girl in london trying to get through her masters and checking out your blog everyday - i would just like to say that you shouldn't underestimate how dreamy your own world appears to all us onlookers. because how i feel looking at your blog probably isn't too far off from how you felt as a kid in indiana.

your blog injects a bit of fantasy into the reality of my days.


Anonymous Victor said ... (5:18 PM) : 

Mr Gigli was definately one of the greatest in the mid and late 80ies.
His use of form, fabric and color were sensational. He was a true inspiration even for those not in the fashion business.
Someone should stage an exhibition so the new generation can be amazed just like we were at that time!


Blogger SequinsandBangles said ... (6:26 PM) : 

I'm afraid I'm in the too young too remember group for this one! He reminds me of Kate Moss' other half Jamie Hince! From reading your amazing introduction for him, maybe this is your answer in who should replace Giorgio Armani! You've made me want to google the hell out of Romeo Gigli now to learn some more! What are these pre days you speak off?? :)


Blogger Squirrel said ... (7:31 PM) : 

The only true artist amongst fashion designers.


Blogger Unknown said ... (7:53 PM) : 

wow, what serendipity this post on gigli. he came to mind for me as an armani replacement. yes, something so enchanting about his style, it evokes a way of living and even thinking more than most.


Anonymous John M. Doyle said ... (9:42 PM) : 

You took me back to a time when that name was much more on peoples' lips and, indeed, when the looks Gigli presented were such wonder-filled alternatives to, not only the dominant styles of that era, but also to the prevailing ethos of those times. Thank you for this reminder.
Although I didn't grow up in Indiana, Scott, I grew up right across the border in Ohio (Cleveland) and saw these fabulous creatures from the other planets of NY, Paris and London who offered a different world and possibilities of, not only style, but of imagining the world, as well. As a guy who grew up in the toughness and meanness of the inner-city as a kid, it was due to the inspiration of fashion and the arts that I managed to realize that it was possible to create dream worlds that would allow me to overcome what life threw at me, and to create a life that I love and with which I can help others do the same in their lives.
Maybe this is one of the reasons that fashion really is important. True we don't need it to live. However, I do think that we absolutely need it if we are to dream and to thrive as human beings.


Blogger j said ... (9:46 PM) : 

ohhhh ... i have nothing to add other than to share the memories of romeo gigli, paolo roversi, TAXI ... what about sybilla? those were magical times ... and this is a fabulous photo of a wonderful genius.


Anonymous Holly said ... (10:37 PM) : 

I'm into that somewhere between fantasy and reality!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:47 PM) : 

Fantastic post. I grew up in Belfast, n. Ireland and the fantasy world of Romeo Gigli and the quite amazing fashion photography of the late 80's and early 90's certainly transported me to a different place. I work as film director now and photography of this era helped me think beyond were I was living, a very war torn country at the time. I love your blog but must agree that it is a welcome addition to fashion photography not a replacement.


Anonymous Amber said ... (12:20 AM) : 

Thank you for breathing life once again into the magical name of Romeo Gigli. He seemed to slip away from view as the deconstructionists marched through the early nineties (or maybe I stopped looking?) His work is perenially breathtaking. UK Actress Tilda Swinton always reminds me of his work. My old magazine tear sheets from the 80's are dominated by his glorious velvet cocoon coats and other assorted visions. Delicious. Oh, and Sioux, your words are more beautiful than you know...


Anonymous The Social Type said ... (12:48 AM) : 

well said, thank you.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:58 AM) : 

Romeo Gigli is my ultimate fashion designer!

As a fashion design student in the early 90's in Australia, I would look endlessly search through magazines to find any picture of his work and have kept everyone one of them - I was a sort of groupie you may say. My other favourite designer at the time was Issey Miyake and cooincidently the 2 did a collection together in early 90's and wasn't the result fantastic. I presented a paper on both designers and focused on how they worked so brilliantly with fabrics, Romeo's work being so romantically inspired and Issey's so industrial.

It is so refreshing to see my hero on this blog, thank-you Scott!!!!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:04 AM) : 

he has a new label now by the way called Io Ipsem Idem - and a fantastic website!!


Blogger michele aka the tiny said ... (2:17 AM) : 

Here..Here..! I believe you to be totally right! As an artist and a lover of fashion I NEED magazines and books in order to give me inspiration for my blog and my artwork!


Anonymous christopher said ... (2:21 AM) : 

have always loved looking at romeo gigli collections.

the armani élan + gigli's wit would be quite a combination.


Anonymous AdoréFloupette said ... (6:14 AM) : 

Yes, the time seems very far when he had a shop in Paris (rue de Sévigné). I remember buying two or three items that I loved very very much - beautiful colors, nice fabrics and finitions. I never understood why his success suddenly stopped - at the least in France .


Anonymous rob said ... (10:09 AM) : 

Joy of joys - how wonderful to see him - a master - it would be even more of a thrill if he was designing for us again. I have an archive of his beautiful timeless clothes from the 80s - not merely wearable but many still in use.


Anonymous lintmag said ... (10:53 AM) : 

My favorite favorite ever is Romeo Gigli - I was in visual at I. Magnin in San Francisco in the early 90's and no silhouette, no clothing was more beautiful. I saved the look book for one season where every piece is so lush and perfect. During this time I went to New York and he was at Barneys for a show - my friend and I met him and he was the nicest man.
Paolo Roversi is another genius -I will buy magazines if his photos are in them. INCREDIBLE ITALIANS!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:28 PM) : 

Thanks for writing about the importance of Gigli. Another reader mentioned Taxi magazine, too. I clearly remember that time and that feeling of a shift in zeitgeist.


Anonymous Benedicte said ... (4:18 PM) : 

I remember how much I loved Romeo Gigli, his sense of colours, his soft and feminine silhouettes, his poetry. I have a beautiful Gigli skirt which doesn't fit me anymore but I keep it just because it is beautiful.


Blogger nothingness said ... (1:30 AM) : 

wow so sleek


Blogger Lauren Carter said ... (6:20 AM) : 

beautiful sentiment in this post. it's kind of a tribe, isn't it...those that strive to live in that place between fantasy and reality. not that i achieve it, but i know it's a certain breed that is drawn to it. love the world you have created in your blog. it's daily inspiration. :)


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:52 PM) : 

my first "tailleur" for my first job was gigli. bought in one of the firts outlets ever existing in Milano....also the buttons were so special, i could not throw this away. I keep it in my wardrobe, after 15 years... and miss his genio so much. I think we are too "rich" and healthy, to imagine and desire again. at those times, you could read the magazines and dream.


Anonymous Acaislim said ... (1:14 PM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:09 PM) : 

I am THRILLED to hear about this article. I hope it means be is busy creating something new. He wasn't just late 80's.... his line is/was timeless. I still have a few pieces. I was working in a design studio in Milan at the time (not fashion) the shop was exquisite as well and a favorite place to meander. I have never been as excited by fashion as I was by his line.


Blogger banglesshouldjangle said ... (12:07 AM) : 

I love what you have written here, Mr Schuman. I have also just purchased your book and am thrilling and pouring over it.
I've kept pictures from US Elle of Romeo Gigli' s glorious clothes..Even as an adolescent I appreciated them;how could something so exquisite and extraordinary be real?


Anonymous Clare said ... (5:51 AM) : 

I remember as a child watching 'The Clothes Show' on telly every Sunday evening. Romeo Gigli designed the dress for the girl who won their 'Wedding of the Year' competition. I seem to remember it was a dusky pink/beige and had silk roses on it. As a little girl that was my absolute fantasy dress!


Blogger Barbara said ... (6:23 AM) : 

Oh, I ADORED Romeo Gigli. I still own a pair of quite severe, flat navy suede Gigli ankle boots that I bought twenty years ago. What a master of his craft. Where has he been? Why under the radar all these years? He could be the perfect replacement for Giorgio, but he's his own unique person and he'd do something less classic and more off-the-wall with Armani. And I love his horizontal-striped shirt. Bravo, Romeo............


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:52 AM) : 

My mother recently gave me a Romeo Gigli trouser suit that she used to wear when I was a baby. It is amazing, and so is he.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:18 PM) : 

Michele 2:17 AM, I find your comments somewhat curious. I am no artist but shouldn't an artist draw inspiration from within himself, his experiences and the world that he sees or creates rather than the world seen by someone else as depicted in a magazine or book? Take Amedeo Modigliani, for example, he painted women that he saw before his eyes. His style had no predecessors and is forever being copied by lesser mortals. He did not have a catalog of women in lingerie from which to choose his subjects, colours and poses.

I guess what I am saying is that for art to evolve one should sever his ties from that which has already been done and looking at someone else's work for inspiration is, well it's cheating.



Anonymous librarian said ... (3:14 AM) : 

I too still have much of my Gigli stuff from the eighties and early nineties - I wore him a lot when I was pregnant and his soft shapes and wonderful colours ( who has ever combined colours so beautifully? Not even Dries...) suited this perfectly. I was wearing a top of his that I wore when pregnant the other day and now my baby is nineteen!!


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:25 AM) : 

i just finished reading the magazine and must admit, i enjoyed your interview but the magazine itself is full of substance and great material. Given the fact that you also do work for U.S. GQ; do you also find a vast difference in its content? Is it a matter of marketing or is it because the American male is more out of sync with its own culture given the necessities placed upon him by his desire to succeed and get ahead that there is no time to find culture within his own world?


Blogger Rachel said ... (6:53 PM) : 

wow! that is an amazing outfit! I need to dress like that.


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