MILAN–Rossella Jardini, one of the most famous muses in fashion history, opened up her grandiose 19th century home on Milan’s posh Viale Majno to BACO this month. In the memento-filled stitting room, flanked by her Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Jolie and Charlie, Jardini opened up about her friendship and work partnership with the late Franco Moschino, the birth of her own eponymous label and her innate elegance.
You made a comeback this February with a new eponymous women’s wear line that combines your effortless Milanese elegance with the ironic playfulness you mastered in 20 years at Moschino. Your latest collection – the second under the Rossella Jardini label, is a tribute to tomboy chic. Who is the Rossella Jardini woman?
She is ageless. Age is something that doesn’t exist in my opinion. There is a lot of nostalgia in this collection. She is a woman who resembles me and the women who were my clients at Moschino.
How is she like you?
I always start with classic items like the smoking, double breasted jacket and those are always there and every now and then I transform them. I love dressing like a man. It gives me a different attitude. I love going out with men’s shoes because going out with my dogs. I love walking around with mens shoes and I have a few pairs of Hermes for men that are my favorite. Franco used to say that I am Capricorn with Hermes as my rising sign.
What are some of the building blocks of the collection?
I use a lot of Japanese textiles crepe silk that is my basic fabric. You can’t find it in Italy. In Italy they don’t have this fiber. It is a tri-acetate and polyester yarn. In Japan there is a special type of water and evidently the water that they have in Japan is more pure and in my opinion this is why they have, also from a technical point of view, amazing fabrics.
Other than Moschino and Hermes, who are your favorite desigers?
Yves Saint Laurent and Coco Chanel. We need to do the sign of the cross when we say their names.
Do you think fashion is a way to communicate with young women of today?
Yes absolutely, but I have to say, this generation scares me. I taught my first lesson at Politecnico della Moda, and I was in front of 50 girls, and I was shocked. Out of 50 there were only three that raised their hands when I asked them if they wanted to be designers. These 50 girls were like salt statues and it was like pulling teeth to get them to participate.
You left Moschino when they hired Jeremy Scott to replace you, but you came back after two years and wowed the fashion crowd with your new line that is a real expression of your own style. What advice can you give us about change?
I had a lot of change and lots of different jobs. You know they say… there is he who has talent and he who has vocation. I have a lot of vocation and I think Franco Moschino had talent. I have some talent too, but I shouldn’t be the one to say that.
And on personal elegance?
Elegance and style are innate. You can’t study how to become elegant if you don’t have it coming from within. I probably inherited my sense of elegance from my mom and my grandmother. In the 1920’s my grandmother would get into her carriage and ride two days back and forth to Galtrucco in Milan’s Piazza Duomo just to buy fabrics. I probably inherited my sense of style from her.
I love what you are wearing. Please tell us how you put your outfits together.
I always spend 10 minutes per day assembling my look. It takes time, but I have so many things in my wardrobe that I can’t possibly remember what I have on the fly.
My jewelry (ivory octopus bracelet and snake cuff) is from Veronesi on Via Manzoni in Milan.
My glasses are from Quattrocento eyewear, the online company we are collaborating with for Rossella Jardini eyewear.
My outfit is Rossella Jardini crepe pants and crepe de chine, organza and tulle blouse with vintage Moschino shoes.
White pumps. Absolutely prohibited.