ROBERT FRANK by Paolo Roversi
A prolif ic photographer, Roversi has created campaigns for Giorgio Armani, Dior, Cerruti, Comme des Garçons, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and Alberta Ferretti since beginning his professional career in 1970. His images manage to blur the boundaries of time, embodying romance, mystery and fantasy in an incredibly fine balance with contemporary appeal. Born in Ravenna,henowl iv e sin Paris. My hero is Robert Frank, the great photographer. Of course he’s not part of the fashion world, even if at the beginning of his career in New York he was working in fashion - for Harper’s Bazaar, with Brodovitch and Diana Vreeland. But it was not really his world.
He did have another encounter in f ashion, with Alberto Aspesi. In the ’80s or ’90s, Aspesi asked Robert to do an advertising campaign for him. This went on for two or three years, and it was a very free collaboration. Aspesi sent the clothes to Mabou, Cape Breton, where Robert lives in a little wooden house in front of the ocean, and Robert took these special pictures. He would put the jacket, the shirt on his neighbours - the fisherman, the postman - and he did the whole campaign just on them. And this is his style of life .
I like his style because, for me, style is not just the way you put on a jacket. It’s the way you live, it’s your attitude with people. He’s like an old beatnik, a timeless beatnik. He was friends with them, and he made a film with Jack Kerouac, Pull My Daisy.
His friendship endured with Aspesi, who gave him a lot of clothes. I remember Aspesi gave him a beautiful red shirt, and he wore it like a flag of friendship, because Alberto gave him this shirt. He was very proud of it.
He’s an artist, and he dresses as an artist. He could be Modigliani or Van Gogh, he has the same kind of way.You remember when Modigliani was wearing just his velvet jacket, a little bit old? And that is Robert, too, always with the first button of his shirt open, his shirt untucked… voilà. It is simple, but intense in a way: pants are too big or too short, or big shoes - and he doesn’t care.
It’s my style too, in a way.
Style is a philosophy, and some are very intellectual. TomeYohjiYa ma moto, formenm or et hanforwo men, is a great philosopher. I think philosophy of life is always in the way you dress, your attitude in front of the world. Neither Robert nor his work is ever compromised - he has integrity. And his dress is also never a concession. He doesn’t need to appear r ich or elegant for anyone.