Florentine fashion designer Stefano Chiassai keeps his memories in a place frozen in time. In a building located in San Giovanni Valdarno, near Florence, TheCube Archive mirrors Chiassai’s life. It houses a selection of about 15,000 items dating back to the designer’s personal and professional archive. Each item narrates faces, places and atmospheres that shaped Chiassai’s creativity and essence. Each garment is a part of CAOSORDINATO, the designer’s first book, featuring the garments, analysed through a vision that moves beyond a rugged appearance. CAOSORDINATO is a disruptive photograph, an analysis of the past, present and future.
The first-year students of Fashion Styling of Istituto Marangoni Firenze were able to visit TheCube Archive, and immerse themselves in the waters of CAOSORDINATO and connect their vision with Chiassai’s. TheCube Archive attracts like a siren song. There is only one rule: you need to listen.
By Martina Lucchesi.
CHAOS AND ORDER. ORDER AND CHAOS.
CAOSORDINATO and TheCube Archive. Two entities, two apparently distant lives, overwhelming and intoxicating. Internal, visceral, chaos with its order, collected in a fascinating mystery; viceversa, order has some melancholic chaos within itself.
CAOSORDINATO is in Stefano Chiassai’s blood. A fashion designer of Florentine origin, he presented his men’s collection for the first time at Pitti Uomo in 1986. Today, he translates his vision into Fendi Menswear collections.
Places, faces and emotions are the true highlights of the designer’s essence; a mosaic characterised by the charm of imperfection, capable of irreverently leading you into his interiors, with no room for fear of the dark.
Sinking into CAOSORDINATO means to abandon oneself to currents, fog and uncertainty; it means to get naked, really.
An act of courage reduced to the bone, intimate as only the truest nakedness can be.
Chiassai translates CAOSORDINATO into a shapeless body whose gaze runs on neutral shades and whose hands move between rough textures of refined fabrics. Chaos burns constantly; it escapes from prying eyes and hides the details to avoid our attention.
And since it cannot be closed in a cube, Stefano Chiassai decided to do just that.
The personal CAOSORDINATO by the Tuscan designer consists of about 15,000 faces, or rather, 15,000 garments. They are not all of the same age; some date back to the 1800s, while others date to more recent collections. Each one tells a story, a piece of that mosaic that constitutes Chiassai’s being. Inevitably, through their colour and composition, they create an atmosphere that varies according to the eyes of the beholder.
TheCube Archive is their cradle, that undaunted cube containing the story of a life. The four walls reveal a selection of about 3,000 items; mainly divided by theme, they reflect Chiassai’s pure and clear vision as he navigates from the punk London 1970s to the clear waters of the minimalist 1990s.
Everyone watches you; they scan every movement waiting for your last and decisive move. All that remains is up to you; get wholly naked and connect with that gaze that has been able to look at you more deeply. This is how any creative, whether designer or stylist, manages to weave their vision and story into the garments’ own story.
All these stories are amplified through research books and selected fabrics. Anyone who wants to drown in the cosmos of TheCube Archive will always find an unusual sea inhabited by constantly changing garments, so that more luminous glances can stand out in a crowd of shadows.
An intimate innovation defines TheCube Archive as a place where you can interpret your own story through the others’; other details, other emotions and other impressions.
Chiassai collected the parts of his CAOSORDINATO with ephemeral delicacy; he fed it, carried it elsewhere, abandoned it in the depths of the deepest sea and finally laid it out in the sunlight.
Only in this way, after giving it as a prophet gives his word, can it be defined as chaos in order.
Stefano Chiassai cannot exist without CAOSORDINATO.
Just as chaos wouldn’t exist without order.
Or would it?
Martina Lucchesi is an undergraduate student in Fashion Styling and Creative Direction at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.