Best Dressed: Francesca DiMattio
The rising art star offers up her thoughts on candlesticks, clay and Chris Wool.
I grew up in Chelsea to European immigrants. I always knew I wanted to be an artist, not that I knew how to go about it. My parents didn’t know it was possible either, but they always encouraged me to pursue something I loved. My mother is Russian but was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany after the war and my father came from a peasant town in Southern Italy.
Right now, I’m inspired by…
I recently finished a show of new ceramic sculptures inspired by functional household forms: matte blue and white Wedgwood, crude coil pots or rough piles of clay and gilded candelabras. I am interested in how putting one reference next to another creates instability. One minute the gilded candlestick is beautiful and, after looking at the slab made by punching clay, the candlestick looks like something you would find in a thrift store.
Those whose work moves back and forth from design, craft and domestic objects to fine art — Sonia Delaunay, whose imagery moved from paintings to textiles, scarves and clothing, and Mary Heilmann, who made tables, chairs and ceramics and showed them with her paintings.
If I owned just one piece of art, it would be…
The Chris Wool painting, “IF YOU CAN’T TAKE A JOKE GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE.”
In this photo, I’m wearing…
A version of Tory’s Elise dress, her Pietra Doro necklace and McCoy bangles, and Donna Karan pumps.
I love this look because…
The structure of the dress is tailored and feminine, but it has a surprising torn rough edge. I love the juxtaposition of language here and the sculptural asymmetrical ruffle.
My style is…
Sculptural. I like clothes that make a shape. I approach fashion a bit like theater. It’s an opportunity for play and fun so I try different things all the time.
Best piece of fashion advice I ever received…
My mom said if you wear something big on the bottom, wear something small on top. I love playing with exaggerated proportion but always keep this in mind.
My go-to gallery look…
I’ll think about where I’m going, whose show it is and normally have some feeling about what to wear in relation to the work.
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