MILAN — Yoox Net-a-porter chief executive officer Federico Marchetti celebrated his 49th birthday on Wednesday with a party during Milan Fashion Week that doubled as a celebration of his close friend Luca Guadagnino, whose latest movie, “Call Me By Your Name,” is nominated for four Oscars.
A who’s who of Italian fashion and art gathered for the bash at the lavish villa that is home to jeweler Giampiero Bodino: guests included Renzo Rosso, Diego Della Valle, Francesco Vezzoli, Maurizio Cattelan, Roberta Armani, Marco Bizzarri, Arthur Arbesser, Veronica Etro, Fausto Puglisi, Matteo Marzotto and Beatrice Trussardi.
Guadagnino — who is advising Marchetti and his partner Kerry Olsen on the renovation of their holiday home on the shores of Lake Como — proffered a birthday cake at 11 p.m. sharp. Moments later, a curtain parted to reveal hitmaker Mark Ronson at the decks.
Earlier in the evening, Guadagnino — who has directed short films for brands including Fendi, Giorgio Armani and Cartier — took a moment to talk with WWD about shooting the cover of W magazine, being a “kamikaze” filmmaker, and what he plans to wear on the big night.
WWD: You’ve always had close ties to the fashion industry. Is this party a welcome distraction for you in the whole run-up and hype of the Oscars?
Luca Guadagnino: In the run-up of the awards season, where you have to be attending a lot of parties, a lot of public events, maybe at the beginning you are like a deer caught in the headlights, but you know, even there you develop friendships with people and the bonds are different.
We are united for life by the experience of going through this all together, me and the other directors of the other films, and the other actors, and the other filmmakers at large that we met. Here it’s more like being home, there it’s like building a new home, and in any case it’s equally a great sensation. I’ve been so far away from home for so long that being in Milan, which is my home, and being able to chill out, even if it’s a very dashing and fancy party, in a way I feel very comfortable because I am with my friends.
WWD: W editor in chief Stefano Tonchi asked three directors — you, Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele — to shoot a cover for its latest issue, and now all three of you have been nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. And I imagine he could not have known that when he chose you.
L.G.: No, no, no, no — we spoke about that in November.
It’s not a mystery, I think, that fashion and people who work in fashion, they have to be ahead of things. They have to have a projection that is strong. I have so many friends who are fashion designers who are so inspiring to me in the way they see the world.
Stefano came to me, and I guess he went to Greta and to Jordan at the same time, and he said, “Why don’t you do the cover of W?” which was a very visionary thing to say and to do, very smart. At the same time, for me it was a great thing, because I am so interested in fashion.
I did few photo shoots — four, five — but to be given the opportunity to be on the cover of W magazine, being so young as a photographer, is fantastic. I feel proud of that.
WWD: Is an Oscar something you’ve always aspired toward?
L.G.: Hope and glory: You always aspire to some sort of excellence in your life, I mean, that’s who I am as a person. But truthfully, my aspiration for excellence has to do with craftsmanship and has to do with communication. So in a way, the Academy Awards, and in general, all the accolades that this movie collected through these months, if it’s a testament of something — happily and possibly — it’s a testament of my striving for excellence having landed some place properly, and so in this regard, I feel very proud and very happy. I’m a cinephile, I love cinema very, very dearly, I love filmmakers, I love events that signify cinema, and one of these events are the Academy Awards. I grew up fascinated and very much allured by these awards. I remember I was 19 when the Academy Awards were given to “The Silence of the Lambs” and the emotion I felt, being up all night from three o’clock in the morning until eight o’clock in the morning, alone in my bedroom watching the Academy Awards unrolling, and Mr. Jonathan Demme — who is one of my most passionate loves for cinema — getting that award for a movie so difficult, so tough, it was such a wonderful experience, such an emotion, I think that I make it concise in my sense of cinema.
WWD: Does this put more pressure on you as you complete your remake of the Italian horror classic “Suspiria,” because you have to live up to something?
L.G.: I am a kind of kamikaze, I’m an experimentalist, so I can tell you that “Suspiria” has been a fixation of mine for many, many years — I would say 32 years. It’s a movie we made with incredible love and passion, all of us, from my incredible all-female cast [including Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz] — plus one man — and my crew, and that striving for excellence, striving for communication — even if this is a movie about the darkness and the depth of the dark side of things — that’s what we are trying to do here. So I don’t know. I guess it’s such a different movie. It couldn’t be more different.
WWD: Do you already know which brand you’re going to wear on Oscars night?
L.G.: I’m going to wear Prada.
WWD: Why Prada?
L.G.: I’ve been going back and forth between Prada and Armani because I love them both very much.
They are among the excellences and they are very generous and they are very beautiful people, both, and Prada, it’s fun. I like the quirkiness, so I like the idea that we don’t take ourselves too seriously at Oscars night.