THE HEROINE’S JOURNEY OF MICHELA RIDOLFI
What is the best thing that I love about my work?
My work is my passion, furthermore, it was my dream as a child. The thing I like best is the complexity that hides behind a world that seems to be made only of appearance and superficiality while enclosing the grammar and syntax of society. The way we dress is closely connected with the economy, culture, art, scientific discoveries of the historical moment. That is to say: the sociocultural unveiling of the apparel is the thing that fascinates me the most.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
Travelling makes me happy, either visiting unspoiled beaches or in my mind through poetry.
What is my greatest fear?
Losing my loved ones.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
If I suffered an injustice, I hardly forget. I do not plan strategies for revenge in the manner of the Count of Monte Cristo, but I’ve experienced that time helps the truth to come out, sooner or later.
Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?
My great teacher is the Lady of the Italian fashion, Bianca Maria Piccinino, the icon of fashion journalism which I have always been inspired by. Also, I really admire the analysis and writing ability of Antonio Mancinelli, chief editor at Marie Claire Italy. Among the costumes historian I deeply admire prof. Cristina Giorgetti at the University of Florence for her research work.
What is my greatest extravagance?
I believe I’m not extravagant. I assimilated too much of the Aristotelian “ giusto mezzo “ (right middle) to be extravagant.
On what occasion would I lie?
Well, when I was interviewing a well-known Italian economist, he suddenly asked me if I was a publicist or a journalist. I had just passed the written exam to become a professional journalist, but I still had to face the oral examination, so I answered that I already was a journalist. I spent the following days begging to escape the rebound effect of that lie. Fortunately, I passed the oral exam after a few days from that interview.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
Sometimes it is hard to disconnect and leave the work behind at the end of the day. In addition, this job has no fixed numbers of hours and I spend many hours working on my laptop or on my smartphone. However, this is exactly the fascinating part of my job, the fact of being able to anytime and everywhere.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
When I met Bianca Maria Piccinino, my professional hero. I interviewed her in her home in Rome. I arrived in the morning and I left her house late at night risking to miss the last train to get back home. More than an interview it was a confession of her. She is a wonderful woman full of surprises and anecdotes to recall.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
Showing a healthy self-interest might be good for me sometimes. I often put my family or my working team first but in the end my sacrifice is barely recognized.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
I like to experience different forms of journalism, old and new media. Today it is the blog yesterday it was the radio. A great satisfaction was to bring fashion on the radio, the only voice capable of showing a dress, a whole collection. The magic of couture evoked with one voice and no pictures or videos!
Where would I most like to live?
New York is my ideal city, both for the working and for the cultural and social stimuli it offers. In Italy I love Milan.
What is my most treasured possession?
My son, without any doubt. Total and unconditional love.
What is my most marked characteristic?
The willpower. I summon all my strength and focus on my goal until I don’t reach it.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
The sea is my inspirational location. It gives me quiet and energy at the same time. Since I moved by the sea I cannot live without it.
What books influenced my life and how?
Among the classics my favourite is Charles Dickens’ “The Pickwick Club” for its wonderful human gallery also because it let me discover the “Cotteria delle chicchere”, the club of the stylish gentlemen of the XVIIIth century, a circle with strict and funny admission rules. I adore the American lectures by Italo Calvino for the excellent advice in the writing techniques, Les Fleurs du Mal by Baudelaire, classic and imaginative, a monument.
Who are my favorite writers?
Among the contemporaries, I love Elena Ferrante, a flood of emotions; Amin Maalouf for his restless optimism in the possibility of cohabitation between East and West. Among the classics, my favorites are Pirandello, Francis Scott Fitzgerald, Proust.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?
Recondita Armonia and Lucevan le stelle, two arias from Puccini’s Tosca, my refuge music, perfect for the last day. And if I am given the time … even all the opera!
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?
James Bond, Agent 007!
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?
All the women who manage to carry on life, adjusting work and family, in so many countries of the world it is not so obvious.
Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?
Two movies in particular, The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius, pure poetry and Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, dreamlike, absolutely a masterpiece.
What role plays art in my life and work?
Art is essential in life, and also in my professional life. Art helps to perceive and understand the world around you, present and past. I can not help it, art is life.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?
Whom would I like to work with in 2017?
With the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture that is pursuing a project of high fashion cultural and economic development which is worthy of Louis XIV and Colbert!
Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017?
I would spend a whole day with Eliee Saab and Karl Lagerfeld, follow them step by step in their studios, to breathe the air of their creativity and share one of their workdays.
What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on?
Bring the great Italian tailoring tradition to the attention of the general public, not just that of the insiders.
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?
To me it means: passion is a natural anti depressant!
How can you contact me? email: godsavethetailor@, facebook: Michela Ridolfi , Instagram @michela.ridolfi , linkedin Michela Ridolfi