Barbara&Marino: How do you rate MILAN venue of ASVOFF so far? Everything went the way you expected?
DianePernet: The location and the collaborations were perfect. I met Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, from the Cultural Ministry when I curated the Michael Nyman exhibition last month at 10 Corso Como. I showed him the teaser for the current exhibition; he liked the idea so much that he gave us the entire ground floor of Palazzo Morando, Costume Moda Immagine. Like the rest of the planet, I’ve always loved Italian Vogue so to collaborate with them was a great pleasure. Federico Poletti had the idea to bring ASVOFF to Milan more than half a year ago; he made it happen along with the participation of Lancia, the museum and Italian Vogue. To answer your question, I think this was our best screening so far.
Barbara&Marino:Your experience has taught us there are hidden places where to discover interesting scenes and talents: do you think asvoff could take place in other cities in Italy than Milan? If yes where? And if not why?
DianePernet:My festival has traveled around the planet that is the nature of ASVOFF so there is no reason that it could not take place in another city in Italy. There is a request now for a screening in Rome; the only possible difficulty at the moment would be the timing.
Barbara&Marino: The first decade of 21st century is almost over, talking about fashion has a completely different meaning than 20 years ago: what kind evolution do you see for the future and what does ASVOFF mean to fashion?
DianePernet:The changes that have happened over the past few years amount to nothing less than breaking down an old wall. It’s not likely that fashion will go back to the exclusivity of showing to the rarefied few. What the future holds, more innovative ways of showing fashion and of course, the increased popularity of fashion films. What ASVOFF means to fashion, I don’t want to sound pretentious so let’s just say a continued launch pad for emerging and established talent.
Barbara&Marino: It must have been hard to select good works among the huge response you received: which is the line you feel one should trespass to be original and authentic (not then just a fashion follower/victim)?
DianePernet:With any open calls you receive a lot of films that you know immediately will not make the selection. There is no magic formula for what works and what does not work, I base my choices on my own instinct. It either works or it doesn’t, if it makes me feel something that is already a good sign. I don’t like to give to many boundaries I want to be surprised. Originality counts a lot, so does the way the film is crafted, the director of photography, the styling, after all it is a fashion film festival, the hair and make-up, the editing and the music are all important in the appreciation of a good film. I remember receiving a film from LA a year or more ago, all the elements were great, there was a story, the acting was perfect and so was the editing and the lighting and the sound design but the problem was the clothes were not great… The fashion needs to play an important role in the film. I tried to explain the problem to the director because I really liked his film but I don’t think he understood.
Barbara&Marino: Your path to where you belong now has been quite an adventure, a beautiful one in a way: do you see any mistake you wouldn't do again?
DianePernet:I follow my passions and that is not necessarily the easiest route. What is important for me is to be free to do what I want to do. It makes for a beautiful adventure; however, you pay a price for that freedom. No regrets, I don’t think I could imagine my life any other way.
Barbara&Marino: What’s avant-garde for you nowadays?
DianePernet:Someone that writes his or her own destiny, in fashion design I immediately think of Rick Owens. Doing things in an original way be it architecture, fashion or film is what makes something new and ‘avant-garde’. When the Director Mike Figgis made Timecode and choreographed 4 cameras on one screen without any cuts that was avant-garde. Gaspar Noe’s film Enter the Void is cinematically avant-garde. The LIGHT film Sunshowers could be called avant-garde in the way that Elisha Smith-Leverock works with light, movement and sound or Erwin Olaf’s way of dealing with emotion and the surprise element could also fit that brief. Andrea Splisgar, the German performance artist and filmmaker is always pushing the boundaries and in the end maybe that is what the word ‘avant-garde’ is really about.