Interview Raimondo Rossi (Ray Morrison) in Sir-K Magazine, July 2018.
What do you get when you mix a blend of creative director and and imaginative stylist? Ray Morrison. Ray took some time out of his busy schedule to have a chat with us about his work. (Sir-K Magazine)
First question. What star sign are you and where are you from?
Virgo, born in Città della Pieve, I live in Rome and occasionally in Los Angeles.
How did your experience in fashion get started?
In the past I did some courses in the Grotowski theatre and contemporary dance, and in 2012 I was called by a director to make art-videos for some film festivals as an actor. At “Bologna in Lettere”, just now, one will be screened; it’s named “Abaddon” and it has already participated in numerous festivals around the world. From these experiences I went into fashion, when an emerging designer from Rome asked me to wear one of his clothes for Pitti Men’s Fashion Week at the end of 2014. From there, after seeing the photos published by some photographers and websites, I decided to continue wearing clothes for collaborations and to start to participate in fashion shows and backstage, having previously taken a photography course in the past.
Can you tell us the most significant moments of your career?
After publishing some photos on my social media and website, the first invitations arrived from fashion maisons or designers, and starting as a blogger, I now do photojournalism, creative directing and styling, or for shoots halfway between fashion and art, or for people. I still collaborate as a model. Since my goal is to bring a transversal study into the world of fashion, combining my theatre and dance experiences in every job I do, in order to give a fresher and more emotional breath to the work, I would say that the greatest satisfaction is to be appreciated in more disciplines. I mean, seeing magazines such as Vogue, GQ or the New York Times, photograph me or mentioned me, in many countries, for different roles (for my own styling, among the best dressed men, for pictures, or for creative directions), makes me understand that I am on the right path to propose myself, even if it’s new one. Among the things I remember with more pleasure, the cover and interview for GQ China, where together with Mariano Di Vaio and Richard Biedul, we gave guidelines for readers looking for an idea or an inspiration in the morning. And certainly the Getty Images’ mentions.
Some meetings that fascinated you?
A lot. I learn from everyone. If we want to give a name, I would say Tilda Swinton. I had the chance to talk with her after her performance in Florence, guested by Olivier Saillard, director of the Musee de la Mode de Paris. The elegance and resoluteness of Tilda, her ways of speaking and using her voice, the charisma, it’s something you can for a long time. And I also remember her spontaneity when we had fun taking some pictures together.
Last and next event?
In March I was invited to the Fashion Week in Los Angeles, it was interesting. Very far from the European ones but very full of life. The next one, upcoming, it’s Moda Uomo. In men’s fashion there is an immense need for new talent. It’s played a little on the volumes and this is very limiting. I understand selling reasons, but the ones that can do something should occasionally give a small shock.
Which jobs keep you passionate?
Creating some shoots or videos where fashion is not only done with models with a falling arm or raised thigh. Fashion should remind us that it’s not just money, clothes, style, but it’s much more: it’s emotion and soul. This way things would be better. But on the other hand the same designers sometimes forget it. If it depended on me, in every fashion school I would oblige students to visit “Savage Beauty”, Alexander McQueen’s exhibition . It’s too sad that this exhibition is rarely exhibited by museums around the world. After New York and after London, who knows where and when it will be hosted.
Runway or backstage?
Backstage. Pre and post show. There are more real feelings. There are smiles, fears, insecurities, dreams, complicity, expectations. There is emotion. Fashion shows are very technical.
Cinema or fashion?
Two quite different worlds, if not for the costume designers and set designers. In any case, the work behind a film is enormous in comparison to the work behind a fashion show.
Have you ever designed clothes?
Yes, for myself, a couple of times, because I like to play with oversize. Both times they were published, in Elle, The Trendspotter, and elsewhere. So that made me very happy. Anyway it is not a sector to which I dedicate myself, at least for now.
What would you like people to understand about you?
That for me the exterior style is nothing if not accompanied by an interior style. If you are not a gentleman inside, you can’t be one on the outside either. I would also like to infuse the idea to change style, always, without protecting yourself behind one that works.
After so many goals, there is also a long-cherished dream?
It would be nice to direct a magazine giving space
to talented people I think deserve it, regardless of the “specialised” studies they did or from the “right” friends they have. You know, you cannot learn to paint if you do not have it inside.
What did fashion teach you?
Do not forget my soul. The runways of the student collections are always the best, they have years of dreams inside.
What happens during your day?
Quiet days, healthy food if possible, messages to
my best friends, a dose of my best inspirations: pure characters of different fields of action. Cryptic Wisdom or Dorian Wood as music playlist, energy and integrity, or Maison de Faux or Federico Cina for fashion, courage and freedom. A great “ciao” to all of them.
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I prefer American energy and openness to the European one, I hope to create a bridge between the two continents and get the best from both.
At this moment, which project are you working on?
I received three proposals: a collaboration with a designer / artist from Los Angeles (he paints his collections by hand), a West Hollywood TV photo-shoot, and a project for an editorial on transgender women along with a London artist. Also, a style project for an American singer, yet to be defined.
Would you like to write an autobiographical book? If yes, what would the title be?
Sometimes I write short prose accompanying photo- shots. It would be nice to collect them. The title?
I would quote Emily Dickinson, one of my favorite
poetesses, titled “If I was not here”.
Is there a professional or photographer you would like to work with?
I was lucky enough to see Scott Shuman working or to be chosen by photographers like Lee Oliveira, Andrew Barber, Christian Vierig. Now I would be happy to work on the connections between Europe and Asia with Triangle Yang, GQ photographer.
What about your private life? Are there passions other than fashion?
Friends, family, good food. A great passion? Travel and listening to the stories of street people, of various ethnic groups. To feel if their understanding of life approaches mine.
Less is more or less is bore?
Neither of the two statements is correct.
One last question, the meaning of life?
Being a force for people close to you. Even when, for different reasons, you cannot be close to them anymore.
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