Samstag, 19. Oktober 2013

"Tour de Mod" Teil II: Claudio de Rossi, Girona / Vicenza

 Diesmal habe ich Claudio de Rossi interviewt - einen Italiener, der aus Vicenza stammt und heute in Girona (Spanien) lebt. Claudio ist sehr bekannt in der (internationalen) Mod-Szene, denn er betreibt das Label

- ein Herrenbekleidungs-Label, das unter Mods Kultstatus genießt.

How and when did you get interested in the "Mod"-lifestyle? How did your style evolve since then?

I was always fascinated by the older clothes that my father had in his wardrobe, 3 buttons suits, Winkle Pickers, skinny ties ... I however put the date on December 8th 1980, when  I was 12, John Lennon died and all the radio stations played Beatles music constantly and I took notice of both the
music and the fantastic clothes. This got me hooked on British 60's culture - style, music etc.

Of course that was 30+ years ago and my style has evolved, but really hasn‘t changed too much (apart from a 3 year psychedelic stint when I played in a psych band - but even then I had my clothes mostly tailored and tried to be cutting edge). I still like the basics of what I liked when I was much younger. However moved away from the clichéd looks quite early compared to many of my peers. Now I like 20's stuff together with 50's and 60's and also appreciate many newer trends which however are classic Italian, one cannot go wrong.

Musically other than the Beatles, at an early age I loved Doo Wop, 50s and 60's Pop, Soul Music of all sorts, Rhythm and Blues for me was mostly white groups like remains, Kinks, Zombies, Rolling Stones. I had a few slim Harpo and Lightning slim LP’s along the way too, going through Funk and Modern (70s) Soul, loved all the Jazz Cats of those years, not the Big Band Trad Jazz but the organ sounds, the Hard Bop stuff right into Bossa Nova. Also classical music has been a fave of mine since I was young (most probably through the Beatles and George Martin's influence in some of their songs). Now it’s mostly 50's Blues, Honky Tank, Barrel House, Jump Blues, Folk Blues and the sorts.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Movies, Magazines, the Internet?

 I am a good observer - I look and take in everything, and all I need is a hint and my mind will travel and explore. Pictures, books, films, internet blogs... I know what the overall look I want should be, but sometimes takes time to 'put the finger on it' so it’s a matter of trial and error. But immediately can feel if something is right or not. When I was into mid-later 60's fashions, I never settled for what the market offered or what was the common norm, I tried to push the boundaries and do something unique. The same goes for when I was a younger Mod or now that I am older - try a different path than what is usually acceptable.

What is the core of being a "Mod"? Is it just clobber or a whole lifestyle for you?

I no longer can call myself Mod, not at 45 years old, and also because my tastes have changed and moved on (both back in time but also forward in thinking). I have made my entire life - both at home where I am married to my wife who was part of the Italian Mod scene and still comes to the parties and loves clothes, and of course at work where I think I have clothes both for Mods and also for those who have either passed this or never were in the scene, but just love timeless clothes. I would like to be associated to timeless, quality clothing, rather than limit my name only to Mod clothing (I never refer to is as such although it has become one of the most known labels in this scene). But surely I love the style, the music (which I collect and play in an R'n'B duo 'The Blues Flame'), I have a pink Lambretta SX200; I go to the rallies, parties, dances etc. I am in the scene both as a business but as a punter.

Do you think it is different to be a Mod in Italy/Spain to other countries? Is there a vibrant scene where you live or is it just a bunch of very few hard-core stylists? Does your origin have an impact on your

I now live in Cataluña, and here there is a great scene mainly based in and around Barcelona. Every month there is something to do although being a dedicated father and family man I cannot attend everything.
Also across the border is Perpignan and there too there are nights and parties to attend. It's a great scene here in this area with great people and quality music. In Europe budget airlines means you can travel to other countries for a party or a weekend rally.

How important is music for you and who is your All-Time-Favourite?

I have written songs since I was twelve have always had an ear for Music, singing, playing instruments, love dancing etc. Nowadays I mainly listen to Blues, classical music or news radio, but as mentioned above I also play in a Blues duo singing and playing the harmonica, with my mate Paul Newman (guitar and vocals), and really do it from the heart. It’s mostly Bo Diddley, Little Walter, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Snook Eaglins ... I could not pin point my all-time fave (although it’s thanks to the Beatles I am and do what I do today) ... Today it’s Lightnin' Hopkins the one artist that I can listen to all day and chills.

Do you have some favourites amongst celebrities who claim to be "Mods"?

Steve Cradock buys his suits here and wears them well, I like the way he matches shirts and suits and shoes in a non-standard way. I also like Martin Freeman’s style and music culture ... Weller has been doing what he does for almost 40 years and good to him.

 For you, running your own clothing business... How was that idea born? What is your main inspiration for DNA Groove? Do you look back only to the 1960s or is there any influence from "Today", too?

I have always loved clothing since I was very young, it was in me. Growing up as a Mod I would always look for dead stock clothing in old shops, and also look for the old tailors which 20 years ago were not working much. So I got clothes made for a very cheap price. Then I bought out a popular vintage clothes shop and left my secure job as a sales manager for a hotel chain. After 3 years I started designing clothes that I wanted and could not find in the vintage market. Being in Vicenza (Northern Italy), this area was full of small artisan businesses that worked for the bigger companies of the area (Diesel, Bottega Veneta, Pal Zileri ...) And as I was a good payer, they agreed to make my micro collections. This was 1999 and has never stopped.

Inspiration I get is from observing everything I see, be it film, blog or the streets. I know where my roots and my base are (1960's) but go back into the 20's and even now, a lot of the classic Italian look is very big, and I like this and this also influences some choices I make.



And now, last but not least: Paul Weller or Steve Marriott?

I was lucky enough to meet both and speak to them back stage and found both to be very friendly. Weller still likes his clothes and is mostly very stylish, Marriott was in dungarees and a mullet, but still had a hell of a voice. But out of the two I would probably choose the original, thus Marvin Gaye or Ray Charles!

Wenn Claudio ihn schon erwähnt - Ray Charles soll immer gesagt haben "I was born with music inside me". Diesen Eindruck könnte man auch von Claudio und Herrengarderobe bekommen -
in Claudios Kollektionen schlägt sich seine Leidenschaft für Stil und interessante Details nieder. Und alle die interessanten, eher ungewöhnlichen Anzüge, Sakkos oder Hemden gibt es zu einem hervorragenden Preis-Leistungsverhältnis.

 Ich denke, ich werde bei DNA Groove sicher einmal zuschagen müssen!