Cristina Morozzi revels in the astonishing. Arriving at the interview sporting a bright pink pullover paired with a printed skirt and bejeweled sandals, one already has a sense of her striking aesthetic sensibility. Endowed with a mind as lively as her style, Morozzi has forged an illustrious career as a journalist, critic, and art director. With decades of experience in fashion, design, art, architecture, writing, and publishing under her belt, Morozzi is an interdisciplinary maverick with specialties in spades. Possessing a keen eye for the original, remarkable, and contemporary, Morozzi has successfully rendered her proven talent in identifying the new and extraordinary for the information age. She imbues a fresh and eccentric perspective on the trend towards digital influence by refashioning her expertise in writing and curating as the current editor in chief of The Moodboarders blog. Constantly on the pulse of the present, Morozzi is at the forefront of the cultural avant-garde all while preserving the enduring wisdom of traditional scholarship.
On having a multi-disciplinary approach: “I studied philosophy and then I specialized in the psychology of language. After the specialization, I applied for a job in a counseling center in Lodi. At the same time, by chance, I met with a very important architect and designer and also a theorist of design: Alessandro Mendini. He knew that I was involved in the design field and that my husband was one of the founders of a very famous radical group in the 70’s in Italy: Archizoom. Mendini was going to promote a new magazine on design and he asked me if I would like to cooperate. I had studied but not completed Architecture before. I didn’t want to be an architect, but I still loved design, so I said, ‘Why not?’ I started to work in this magazine, the name was Modo and it was 1977. Not long after I started with Modo, the counseling center in Lodi called me to offer me the job I applied for, but at that time I realized that I liked very much to be a journalist and be involved in the field of aesthetic design. So, I decided to pursue a career in this field. I went on with contributions to other magazines and in 1987 I became the chief editor of Modo for 10 years. After Modo was sold to another company, I gave my resignation—I didn’t agree with their policies. I still went on writing, but at the same time, I was also involved in writing for a fashion magazine, Gap Italia. For this reason I am now specialized and have a deeper understanding of both fashion and design.”
On her methods as an editor: “I like unusual, I like new. I am recognized as a talent scout because when I was editor of Modo, I publish an unknown designer each edition. I try to find the new one, promote the new one, and I don’t follow the very famous. This is my goal and I’m recognized for that. I like to discover. I wrote a lot of books. There were two very linked to my way to approach fashion and design, Terrific Design and Terrific Fashion. I find incredible pieces and in fashion there is a lot of surprise and people like to make unusual things and shock the public. More and more I like to be this way, I don’t like to be bored. If they ask me to publish 20 best chairs, I say ‘No, I don’t want, it’s not my cup of tea.’ It’s different. I specialize in this. I got the chance to find a company that trusts in me, my approach and they allowed me to be chief editor of this blog in which I do exactly what I want.”
On writing: “I brought to the language of design at the time a new approach, more related to humans, the link between objects and people, the story behind them. Italian people are aesthetic critics, too focused on theory and abstraction. I changed the approach because for me the relation between people and things is important, how you are influenced by the surroundings, and how things can have a language and you can discover this language. So I started to write in a different way, more human—less abstract and more affordable. People recognized in me this different kind of approach. I try to be affordable, to be matter of fact. A little bit poetic, obviously, but not rhetorical and not too much theory.”
On curating: “An exhibition always has to be a story, a story to tell to someone so the idea is to put together things that can tell a story on a subject. The choreography is the way in which you are able to put together the story. I like very much to make exhibitions because first of all there is an idea, a main idea. You have to invent which kind of story you would like to tell. Then you have to imagine the choreography and then you have to make the selection of the pieces on the subject. I like very much to put together items, to invent solutions, to make the pieces impressive. Sometimes it’s enough to select some strange material for the wall, sometimes it’s the way you put the lights, sometimes it’s what you select to put on the ground floor. I like to make a choreography because it’s very creative.”
On criticism: “Criticism is important just because behind the creation there is a process, there is the inspiration, there is the story, so for me criticism has to underline what is underneath and to make the creator conscious. Sometimes the creator is not really conscious about what they are doing because it’s more emotional. It’s a support sometimes.”
On blogging and print publications: “It’s a different approach. A blog is a contemporary way to be on time—easy language, impressive, short. Writing depends on your style. Like with books, it’s more difficult because you have to put together a lot of things and you find a red line, so it’s not so easy. The blog is exactly on time and printed magazine can be on its own time. They can go together. For me the difference is that on print you give opinions, you are more theoretical. On a blog, it’s reportage, it’s more immediate. Magazines in my opinions have made more important articles, more pages, selecting the subject, and more critical. News are for the blog. The magazine can do a good job. It’s a fine way to be more deep in the subject, to make a good interview or thought piece, not reportage.”
On a holistic grasp of the fine arts: “It’s fundamental. I always say to the students you have to be curious and look all around. Everything is important and you have to learn to see. The problem is that people are not able to see. It’s a sort of training because you have to select what you would like to see. It depends, step by step.
For me there is no difference between fashion, art, and design. Especially now, contamination is very important. It’s very important to know and understand what happens in the different fields because the source of inspiration of stylists is always art and also design. For that reason also the blog is mainly on design but with fashion and art also because they are for me all together.”
On trends: “For design, trends are quite new especially in Italy because trends are something that come more from French culture than Italian culture. In fashion we’ve always got trends because fashion changes seasonally and there is coming back. To make trends is a way to put together, to find the red thread to show, to make more interesting what you show, because it’s difficult to put together it doesn’t matter what. So if you collect by typology it’s quite boring; by trends you can make some history behind them. Trends mean that in this moment we put these things together. It’s a way to put together items.”
On teaching: “My aim is to teach contemporary fashion and design because I realize that in school they don’t teach contemporary. They don’t teach how to understand what happens. In design the theoretical people teach the history of design and they prefer to look to the past rather than the contemporary. I on the contrary, I try to look on the contemporary. In my opinion, it is more interesting, but it means you have to learn to look around, to discover, to make another kind of work. Not only on the internet but you have to go personally to see exhibitions, fairs, presentations. The internet has very few sources especially in the field of design. The past doesn’t appear and I don’t know why, so I realized we can’t trust in the internet. Students always say, ‘We have internet.’ Don’t trust in the internet. It is still necessary to buy books. Who is writing the news on the internet? God or people? Why do you trust in the internet and not in the book? The book has more control. In the internet you can pass on and you can put on what you want and maybe it’s wrong. Books have one, two, three revisions; many people read it before publishing.”
Photography Wilmark Jolindon
With special thanks to Focus Global Inc. and Istituto Marangoni