In the second installment of my Mr Blasberg’s Questionnaire column, which is an exclusive feature to the Valentino Garavani Museum, I meet one of modern fashion’s most outspoken icons: Italian Vogue’s editor in chief Franca Sozzani. Her presence is familiar at fashion shows, her calm demeanor and long blonde hair folded into the front row wearing whatever Alaia garment her friend had made for her. But beneath the calm of the sea is a torrent of ideas, opinions and convictions. Here, she gave us a peek into some of them.
Who do you think is the most stylish woman in the world? Tilda Swinton.
And the most stylish man? Sean Penn.
Do you have a biggest fashion regret? To have been at too many fashion shows.
Was or is there a trend that you’ve never understood or never followed? Sorry, but I usually anticipate them.
How long does it take for you to get dressed? Hours.
When a friend is dressed terribly and asks how they look, do you tell the truth? I say, “You look awful!”
Is there a fashion era that you wish would comeback? Renaissance.
Do you have a favorite Mr. Valentino moment? His life.
Have you taken a tour of the Valentino Virtual Museum? What did you think? I presented it in NY when it opened and I love it.
What is your favorite ensemble in the museum? (And why?) The animal prints. Valentino did it 30 years before any other designer.
To tan or not to tan: That is the question? I love white.
Heels or flats? Flats.
What is your favorite color? Dark Blue.
Do you have a favorite fashion memory, perhaps a fashion show or a shoot? Steven Meisel’s “Make Over Madness” story in Italian Vogue. It was about plastic surgery.
What is the greatest piece of fashion advice that you’ve ever received, and from whom did you receive it? “A white shirt is forever” is what my father would say.
In the debate over whether fashion can be art, where do you stand? Fashion is fashion.
If you were not doing what you are doing professionally now, what do you think you would be doing? I never thought about doing anything else.
What do you love to do? Read.
What do you hate to do? Meetings.
What would you say is your most marked characteristic? Curious.
What would those who know you well say is your most marked characteristic? “Open.”
Where are you most inspired? Everywhere.
If you could go back in time and speak to your teenage self, what would you tell him or her? Never get married.
How much importance do you place on the personal style of a significant other? I care only about my personal opinion.
It has been said that when we die we can’t take anything with us; but if you could take just one thing, what would it be? My dog’s ashes.
Photo: Franca with Giancarlo Giammetti and Valentino on Valentine’s Day of this year